Kim leads by two; Wie soars to 76

Los Angeles Times - - BASEBALL - Staff and wire re­ports a 70. fin­ished were

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.

Andy Buchanan AFP/Getty Im­ages

SOUTH KOREA’S I.K. Kim braved tough con­di­tions to take the lead in the British Open.

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