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Back injury KO’s Wie

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GUADALAJARA, Mexico » Defending champion Michelle Wie shot a 78 yesterday in the first round of the Lorena Ochoa Invitational and had to withdraw afterward with a back injury.

"I was very excited to be here, but unfortunately I can’t play anymore," Wie said. "I’m going to see the doctor tomorrow and hope to make it feel better. We took an MRI and I have two little cysts near my spine and a little disc bulge. It’s nothing major, but it’s just something I can’t play with right now."

Meanwhile, Cristie Kerr shot a tournament-record 8-under 64 to take a three-stroke lead over Stacy Lewis.

Ochoa opened with a 74 on her home course in her first LPGA Tour start since retiring in April.

The third-ranked Kerr birdied nine of the first 15 holes at Guadalajara Country Club, but dropped a stroke on the par-3 17th. She won the LPGA State Farm Classic and LPGA Championship in consecutive starts in June.

"I felt really good out there," Kerr said. "I was there every shot. I want to do the small things well and take it day by day. I won today for myself, and I’ll go out there tomorrow with the same amount of confidence."

Japanese star Ai Miyazato. U.S. Women’s Open champion Paula Creamer, South Korea’s Na Yeon Choi and Australia’s Katherine Hull shot 68s, and South Koreans Hee Young Park and In-Kyung Kim had 69s.

Ochoa closed with her second double bogey of the round.

"It’s good to be back," Ochoa said. "It would be better if I had a better round today. Especially the end of the day was a tough one because I tried really hard to stay around par and just finish really good. But nothing I can do now."

 

Tiger 9 back in Australia

Tiger Woods struggled in the wind and on the greens today for a 1-over 72, leaving him nine shots behind Adam Bland at the Australian Masters in Melbourne.

In blustery conditions, Woods made consecutive bogeys on the back nine and didn’t give himself many birdie chances.

Bland was playing in the same end of the draw, and thrived with his round of 4-under 67 to take a two-shot lead over Andre Stolz. Sergio Garcia, playing in the morning in wind just as strong, had his best score of the year at 65 and was six shots behind.

He was not about to declare himself back to full form after one round, but it was encouraging.

"Even though it was quite difficult with the conditions, it seemed like we were always making the right decisions," Garcia said.

 

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