Scott, Jacobson share lead after windy first round
Friday, June 8, 2007
The TPC Southwind and gusty wind gave anyone wanting a tuneup for next week's U.S. Open a grinding preview.
With only seven players breaking par, Adam Scott survived a rough start to shoot a 3-under 67 for a share of the lead with Fredrik Jacobson in the toughest opening round ever in the Stanford St. Jude Championship in Memphis.
Last year, 24 players were under par in the first round. Scott and Jacobson had the highest leading first-round score since Fuzzy Zoeller's 2-under 70 in 1986.
The course is more difficult thanks to a redesign after David Toms won in 2004 at 16 under. The 7,239-yard course is so hard that only Winged Foot, site of last year's U.S. Open, ranked tougher on the tour in 2006.
Retief Goosen and Brian Gay opened with 68s, and Scott Verplank, Gavin Coles and Duffy Waldorf shot 69s.
In perhaps her most scrutinized round, Michelle Wie recovered from a sloppy start with three birdies in a four-hole stretch to shoot a 73 and leave herself in decent shape of playing all four days at the LPGA Championship in Havre De Grace, Md.
Former U.S. Women's Open champion Birdie Kim came to life with a 5-under 67, leaving her atop the leaderboard at Bulle Rock with Angela Park and Kim Saiki-Maloney.
Morgan Pressel got off to a good start in her bid for the second leg of the Grand Slam with a 68, joining seven-time major champion Karrie Webb and Laura Davies, who could qualify for the Hall of Fame with a victory in this major.
But the focus was on Wie, who has come under intense criticism for withdrawing after 16 holes last week at the Ginn Tribute citing a wrist injury, showing up at Bulle Rock two days later to hit balls, and getting sassy with Annika Sorenstam and LPGA Tour commissioner Carolyn Bivens over her conduct.
Se Ri Pak also shot 73, and her smile was never brighter.
The defending champion officially logged her 10th tournament of the year, marking her 10th season on the LPGA Tour, and that was all she needed to be eligible for the Hall of Fame. At 29, Pak will be the youngest member when she's inducted in November.
Sorenstam, who opened with a 70, fueled the Wie criticism earlier this week by saying the teenager showed a lack of class and respect by pulling out of the Ginn -- where Sorenstam was the tournament host -- and coming to the next tournament to hit balls.
There also was speculation Wie withdrew to avoid shooting 88, which would ban her from the LPGA Tour the rest of the year because of a policy for non-tour members.
-- The Associated Press