SAN MARTIN, Calif. Australia’s Nick O’Hern shot a 9-under 62 to take a three-stroke lead over European Ryder Cup player Nicolas Colsaerts, Jhonattan Vegas and Derek Ernst in the Frys.com Open.
O’Hern had eight birdies in an 11-hole stretch and capped the bogey-free round with a birdie on the par-5 ninth hole at CordeValle Golf Club. He’s winless on the PGA Tour.
Colsaerts is trying to earn a PGA Tour card. As a special temporary member, he needs to finish the equivalent of 125th on the money list to earn a full 2013 card. The Belgian player has earned $652,886, enough now for the 120th spot.
Charles Howell III, John Mallinger, Jonas Blixt, Gary Woodland and Greg Owen shot 66. British Open champion Ernie Els opened with a 71 in the Fall Series event.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia Defending champion Na Yeon Choi shot a 6-under 65 on Thursday in the LPGA Malaysia for a share of the lead with Hall of Famer Karrie Webb.
Choi was 5 under through 12 holes when first-round play was delayed because of lightning, then added a birdie on the par-4 14th and finished the bogey-free round with four pars. The South Korean player won the U.S. Women's Open in July for her first major title and sixth LPGA Tour victory.
“I put extra pressure on myself, too, as a lot people expect me to win here, but I like it. It makes you more nervous and encourages you to play better,” Choi said.
Webb also had a bogey-free round, joining Choi atop the leaderboard after the delay with a birdie on the par-3 17th. The Australian won consecutive events early last year in Singapore and Phoenix for the last of her 38 LPGA Tour victories.
“Six birdies and no bogeys, I'm pleased with that,” Webb said. “It's always hard to stay in focus after you have to sit it out for more than three hours.
“Instead of wanting to finish it off quickly without making mistakes, I was trying to hit some quality shots and that made the difference.”
Japan's Mika Miyazato, South Korea's Sun Young Yoo and 17-year-old Taiwanese amateur Min Lee were a stroke back at 66.
South Koreans Hee-Won Han and Hee Young Park shot 67, and Americans Cristie Kerr, Jessica Korda and Lizette Salas were another stroke back along with Japan's Ai Miyazato and Momoko Ueda, South Korea's So Yeon Ryu and Scotland's Cartriona Matthew.
American Stacy Lewis opened with a 70. In the last tour event, she won in Alabama on Sept. 23 to tie top-ranked Yani Tseng for the tour victory lead with three.
Michelle Wie had a 74. She had an eagle and three birdies, but lost eight shots with a triple bogey, a double bogey and three bogeys.
Tseng shot a 78, leaving her tied for 66th in the 71-player field. The Taiwanese star was 1 under after 10 holes, then dropped eight strokes in the next five with three double bogeys and two bogeys.
The tournament opens the tour's four-event Asian swing. The HanaBank Championship is next week in South Korea, followed by stops in Taiwan and Japan.
VILAMOURA, Portugal Ross Fisher of England and Stephen Gallacher of Scotland each shot a 6-under 65 to share the lead at the Portugal Masters after the opening round Thursday.
Fisher made birdies on three of his first six holes and then birdied four of the first five holes on his back nine.
Gallacher shot a bogey-free round.
The co-leaders were followed by George Murray of Scotland at 5 under.
Martin Kaymer, who holed the putt that kept the Ryder Cup with Europe less than two weeks ago, shot a 69 on the Oceanico Victoria Golf Course.
Ryder Cup teammate Francisco Molinari finished at par, while Europe captain Jose Maria Olazabal was 4 over.
U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur
SAN ANTONIO Meghan Stasi won her fourth U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur title to match the tournament record, routing Liz Waynick 6 and 5 on Thursday at Briggs Ranch.
The 34-year-old Stasi, from Oakland Park, Fla., also won in 2006, 2007 and 2010. She tied the victory record set by Ellen Port in the event limited to players 25 and older. Stasi also became the 16th player to win one USGA championship at least four times.
Stasi won the last five holes to close out the match. She outdrove the 52-year-old Waynick – from Scottsdale, Ariz. – by as much as 100 yards on some holes.