Friday, October 8, 2004

String of birdies helps
Park share LPGA lead

The Associated Press

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. - Grace Park had four straight birdies on the back nine in a 6-under 66 that put her in a tie for the lead with Kim Saiki and Silvia Cavalleri after one round of the Asahi Ryokuken International Championship at Augusta, S.C.

Park was 4 under par after just six holes in the LPGA's final full-field event of the year. She was even sharper during a stretch coming in, using strong approach shots for the birdie run that started on No. 12.

When Park gave back a stroke on 17, she recovered with a slithery downhill 4-footer for birdie on the closing dogleg.

"I made a couple of mental errors that cost me a few strokes, but then came back strong," Park said.

Michelle Estill, Becky Morgan and Joanne Morley were one stroke behind the leaders.

PGA: For the second week in a row, Harrison Frazar took a share of the first-round lead, holding it with six others in the Michelin Championship at Las Vegas.

Frazar shot a bogey-free 64 Thursday to take his place among the leaders at 8 under.

Two of those players, Danny Ellis and Jason Bohn, shot 63s, but their scores were on the par-71 TPC Canyons course while the others played the par-72 TPC Summerlin and Bear's Best layouts. Also tied at 8 under were Scott Verplank, Kent Jones, Steve Lowery and Billy Mayfair.

A tournament that traditionally gives up some of the lowest scores on the Tour was shortened from 90 to 72 holes this year, but that didn't stop players from making their usual assault on par. Of the 144 players in the field, 120 broke par, and 42 were within three shots of the lead.

DUNHILL LINKS: Graeme McDowell matched a course record with a 10-under 62 on the Old Course to take the first-round lead at St. Andrews, Scotland.

A former top collegiate golfer at Alabama-Birmingham, the Northern Irishman held a three-stroke lead over four players.

Retief Goosen, David Howell and Peter Lonard all shot 7-under 65 at Kingsbarns, one of three courses being used, and James Kingston matched that score at Carnoustie.

The top two players in the world rankings, No. 1 Vijay Singh and No. 2 Ernie Els, both shot 68 at Kingsbarns, as did Colin Montgomerie.


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String of birdies helps Park share LPGA lead
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