Defending champ Molinari shares Italian Open lead
MONZA, Italy — Defending champion and home favorite Francesco Molinari was among six players who shared a onestroke lead after the opening round of the Italian Open. Jamie Donaldson, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Eddie Pepperell, Matt Wallace and Alexander Bjork also shot 7-under 64s Thursday at the Golf Club Milano, next to Monza's Formula One circuit.
George Coetzee and An Byeong-hun both were one stroke back in the Rolex Series event, which has an increased purse of $7 million this year as part of the buildup to the 2022 Ryder Cup outside Rome. Masters champion Sergio Garcia stood in a group two strokes behind the leaders while playing partner and fellow Spaniard Jon Rahm was among those three shots behind.
INCHEON, South Korea — Sung Hyun Park birdied her last two holes for a 6-under 66 and a share of the lead in the LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship as the South Korean bolstered her bid to win LPGA rookie of the year and player of the year. Park was tied for the first-round lead with MinSun Kim and Minjee Lee.
LPGA star Lexi Thompson, the world’s third-ranked woman’s golfer, headlines the field for the third annual Diamond Resorts Invitational. Scheduled for Jan. 12-14 at Orlando’s Tranquilo Golf Club, five LPGA stars and 27 members of the Champions Tour will tee it up with 46 athletes and celebrities over three days and 54 holes.
Thompson is expected to be joined by fellow major champions Brittany Lincicome, Brittany Lang and Brooke Henderson. Hall of Famers Colin Montgomerie and Ian Woosnam, along with John Daly, Kenny Perry and Mark Calcavecchia, headline a long list of Champions Tour players scheduled to play.
Athletes and celebrities include Chicago Cubs pitchers Jon Lester and John Lackey, former Cy Young Award winners Roger Clemens, Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux, NFL Hall of Famer Marcus Allen, 2016 celebrity champion and former tennis player Mardy Fish and former pitcher Mark Mulder, the 2017 celebrity winner.
Threesomes at the event will feature one LPGA or Champions Tour pro and two celebrities. Pros will compete for a $750,000 purse and the celebrities for $500,000. The event will benefit Florida Hospital for Children.
Golfers will play the Modified Stableford scoring format that awards points as opposed to strokes.