Kim leads by two; Wie soars to 76
I.K. Kim, the best player in women’s golf right now, emerged from the cold and wet with a four-under-par 68 Friday to build a two-shot lead in the Women’s British Open going into the weekend at St. Andrews, Scotland.
A two-time winner on the LPGA Tour over the last two months, South Korea’s Kim dropped only one shot in some of the worst conditions at Kingsbarns Links and reached the halfway point at 11-under 133. She was two shots clear of Lexi Thompson and Georgia Hall of England.
Perhaps the most significant move came from Thompson, the No. 2 player in the world. Two over after nine holes, the big-hitting Floridian played the homeward nine in 30 with six birdies — five in succession. In addition, she found time to add a new phrase to golf’s already voluminous terminology. “I ball-striked it out there,” she said.
First-round leader Michelle Wie shot a 76 that left her seven shots off the pace and in a tie for 21st.
The sun finally came out, and Jimmy Walker saw a glimpse of what he hopes are brighter days ahead.
In a year marked by coping with Lyme disease and bouts of fatigue, Walker endured rain delays of nearly five hours and posted a five-under 65 for a two-shot lead going into the weekend at the Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio. He was at seven-under 133, two shots ahead of Thomas Pieters of Belgium, who had
Rory McIlroy shot 69 and was three shots back, along with Zach Johnson and Hideki Matsuyama, who each shot 67. The large group at three-under 137 included Jordan Spieth, who birdied his last two holes for a 70, and Jason Day, who is winless in nearly 15 months and has had some mild back pain. He shot 66.
Two-time tournament winner Kenny Perry shot a seven-under 65 to hold a share of the lead after the first round of the PGA Tour Champions event in Blaine, Minn. Perry opened his round with six consecutive birdies. He finished with another one to join Mike Goodes atop the leaderboard at TPC Twin Cities.
Scott Verplank, Marco Dawson, Gene Sauers and Jay Haas at six under. Steve Flesch, Colin Montgomerie and Brandt Jobe among a group at 67. Jeff Sluman leads a host of golfers who shot opening-round 68s. Senior tour leader Bernhard Langer shot a 69.
Stephen Curry missed the cut against professional golfers one notch below the PGA Tour, but the Golden State Warriors star still impressed. Curry shot four-over 74s on Thursday and Friday on the TPC Stonebrae course in Hayward, Calif., and finished tied for 148th. He missed the cut by 11 shots.
“That was awesome what he did yesterday,” Spieth said Friday from the Bridgestone Invitational. “I think he certainly beat most everybody’s expectations, but I don’t think that really surprised him.”
Stanford alum Andrew Yun shot a 62 on Friday and finished two rounds at eight-under 127.
SOUTH KOREA’S I.K. Kim braved tough conditions to take the lead in the British Open.