INCHEON, South Korea » Haeji Kang shot a 5-under 67 to take a two-stroke lead over five players, including three fellow South Koreans, after the first round of the LPGA KEB-Hanabank Championship.
Defending champion Amy Yang, Lee Il-hee and Mirim Lee were in the group at 69, along with Australia’s Minjee Lee and Scotland’s Catriona Matthew.
Honolulu’s Michelle Wie opened with a 76. She is making her first start since withdrawing from September’s Evian Championship after reinjuring a stress fracture in her right hand.
LAS VEGAS » Stewart Cink birdied seven of the final 11 holes Thursday for a 7-under 64 and a share of the first-round lead with Martin Laird in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
Cink had a bogey-free round at TPC Summerlin in his first start since dropping out of the FedEx Cup playoffs. Laird also had a bogey-free round.
Scotland’s Russell Knox was third at 66 with Jarrod Lyle, Bo Van Pelt, Hideki Matsuyama, Sam Saunders, Brian Stuard and Andrew Svoboda.
Defending champion McDowell loses
ASH, England » Defending champion Graeme McDowell lost 2-and-1 loss to Mikko Ilonen in round-robin play in the World Match Play Championship.
Joost Luiten beat Alexander Levy 4 and 3 to improve to 2-0 in the Larson group. McDowell and Ilonen are 1-1, and Levy is 0-2. After round-robin play in the four four-man groups, the top two in each group will advance to the quarterfinals.
Victor Dubuisson is 2-0 in the Gabrielsson group. In the McCormack group, Patrick Reed, Paul Casey, Jamie Donaldson and Jonas Blixt are all 1-1. Henrik Stenson and George Coetzee have 1-0-1 records in the Palmer group.