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GOLF ROUNDUP

Park leads as Wie, Webb flail

June 29, 2007|Peter Yoon | From Times Staff and Wire Reports

LPGA Tour rookie Angela Park, 18, birdied her first three holes and hung on for a three-under-par 68 Thursday in Southern Pines, N.C., leaving her in the lead of the U.S. Women's Open after the first round for the second straight major.

Michelle Wie continued her free fall and Alexis Thompson, 12, played carefree until it was too dark to continue.

Thompson, the youngest qualifier in U.S. Women's Open history, three-putted the 18th green for a bogey that put her at three over after nine holes. Wie hit only four fairways and matched her highest score in a Women's Open with an 82.

"I know I'm a better player than this," said Wie, who failed to break 80 for the second time in three rounds.

Karrie Webb, a seven-time major champion who won the U.S. Women's Open the last time it was played at Pine Needles in 2001, failed to make a birdie and walked off with an 83, her highest score on the LPGA Tour.

No rain touched the turf at Pine Needles, but play was suspended for 3 1/2 hours because of lightning in the area, allowing only the morning batch of 78 players to finish the round.

Defending champion Annika Sorenstam was at even par through 13 holes.

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Saying his balky back is finally well, Rocco Mediate shot his lowest score on the PGA Tour in four years, opening the Buick Open with an eight-under 64 for a one-stroke lead in Grand Blanc, Mich.

Brett Quigley, Woody Austin and Brian Bateman shot 65s and Jim Furyk was among a group of four another stroke back, in a tournament up for grabs without Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh in the field for the first time since 2001.

Woods and Singh have combined to win four of the previous five titles, reaching 24 under to win the previous two.

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Two-time defending champion Scott McGihon is seeking to become the first player to win three consecutive Southern California Golf Assn. Amateur championships as the tournament gets underway today at Victoria Club in Riverside.

McGihon, of Bermuda Dunes, is seeking his fourth overall SCGA amateur title. Craig Steinberg of Oak Park, who won the 2001 title at Victoria, is bidding to become the second five-time champion.

Also among the favorites is Tim Hogarth of Northridge, who has won the SCGA Mid-Amateur, Kelly Cup, Pasadena City and Los Angeles City championships over the past two months. Josh Anderson, 18, of Murrieta, fresh off his state amateur title, is seeking to become the first since 1942 to win the California and Southern California titles in the same year.

-- Peter Yoon

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