RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Stacy Lewis made 11 birdies on Thursday to match the low score at Olympic Golf Course with an 8-under 63, putting her right in the mix for a gold medal.
The American had no complaints about her golf or her position at the halfway point of the first Olympic women’s golf competition since 1900. Lewis was one shot behind Inbee Park, the South Korean player who birdied her last two holes for another 5-under 66.
Charley Hull kept alive British hopes for a gold medal sweep in golf with a 66 that left the Englishwoman tied with Canada’s Brooke Henderson, two shots behind Park.
Lewis piled up the birdies, finishing with four in a row, the last one the most unlikely. Her tee shot on the par-5 18th failed by a foot to clear a bunker, and the ball stayed on the steep slope of soft sand.
She hit one of her best shots with a 7-iron to advance it down the fairway, and then did even better with a hybrid from 199 yards to 4 feet for her 63. Marcus Fraser of Australia also shot a 63 in the opening round of the men’s competition last week on a course set up about 900 yards longer.
Henderson birdied the final four holes for a 64.
Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn, the first-round leader, had a 72 to fall five shots out of the lead. Top-ranked Lydia Ko of New Zealand was seven strokes back after a 70.
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Rested after the Rio Olympics, Rafa Cabrera Bello shot a 7-under 63 on in the Wyndham Championship for a share of the first-round lead with Kevin Na.
Cabrera Bello eagled the par-5 fifth and closed the bogey-free round with a birdie on Sedgefield’s par-4 ninth. On Sunday, the 32-year-old Spaniard tied for fifth in Rio.
Na had seven birdies in his bogey-free round in the PGA Tour’s final regular-season event. The American tied for eighth last week in the John Deere Classic.
Luke Donald, Brandt Snedeker, Derek Fathauer, New Zealand Olympian Danny Lee and Peter Malnati shot 65. Donald made a hole-in-one on the 16th.
Jim Furyk had a 66 in his first round since shooting the first 58 in PGA Tour history two weeks ago in the final round of the Travelers Championship.
Patrick Reed also had a 66. He won the 2013 event for his first tour title.
U.S. Olympic teammate Rickie Fowler birdied his last two holes for a 67. He tied for 37th in Rio.
BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Michigan sophomore Nick Carlson won two matches on the 19th hole at Oakland Hills to advance to the U.S. Amateur quarterfinals.
Carlson, from Hamilton, Michigan, beat British Amateur champion Scott Gregory of England in the morning round of 32, and topped Thailand’s KK Limbhasut in the afternoon round of 16.
Carlson will face Illinois junior Dylan Meyer of Evansville, Indiana, on the Donald Ross-designed South Course that Ben Hogan dubbed the “The Monster” in his 1951 U.S. Open victory.
Meyer beat Alex Smalley, the Duke sophomore from Wake Forest, North Carolina, who led stroke-play qualifying, 4 and 3 in the morning and outlasted England’s Sam Horsfield in 19 holes in the afternoon.
In the other upper-bracket quarterfinal, Pepperdine’s Sahith Theegala of Chino Hills, California, will face Australia’s Curtis Luck. In the lower bracket, Southern California’s Jonah Texeira of Porter Ranch, California, will play LSU’s Luis Gagne of Orlando, Florida, and former Stanford player David Boote of Wales will face Oklahoma’s Brad Dalke of Norman, Oklahoma.
VYSOKY UJEZD, Czech Republic (AP) — England’s Ryan Evans birdied the final hole for a 6-under 66 and the first-round lead in the Czech Masters.
The 29-year-old Evans, winless in the European Tour, had a one-stroke lead over defending champion Thomas Pieters of Belgium and Peter Hanson of Sweden at the Albatross Golf Resort. Pieters was fourth last week in the Rio Olympics.
John Daly opened with a 69, and England’s Lee Westwood had a 70.