Sat, Apr 25, 2009 - Page 19 News List

Charlie Wi takes route 66 to lead in New Orleans


Michelle Wie tees off from the third hole during the first round of the 2009 Corona Championship in Morelia, Mexico, on Thursday.


South Korean Charlie Wi took advantage of calm morning conditions to take a one-shot lead in Thursday’s opening round of the New Orleans Classic in Avondale, Louisiana.

Seeking his first title on the PGA Tour, California-based Wi fired a six-under-par 66 to seize control at the TPC Louisiana.

Australian Nathan Green opened with a 67, along with Americans Jay Williamson, Parker McLachlin, Charles Warren, Eric Axley and John Merrick, while Britain’s Justin Rose and American Steve Stricker were among a group bunched on 68.

American world No. 5 Kenny Perry, back on the PGA Tour for the first time since losing the US Masters in a three-way playoff, carded a five-birdie 69.

Wi, who made his European Tour breakthrough with victory at the co-sanctioned 2006 Malaysian Open, has twice been a runner-up on the PGA Tour.

“Knowing that you can win and doing it is two different things. So it’s really important to make sure that you close the deal when you get a chance. But I’ve won before, so it’s not like I haven’t won,” he said.



World No. 1 Lorena Ochoa sits atop the leaderboard after shooting an eight-under 65 to take a one shot lead after the first round of the LPGA’s Corona Championship on Thursday.

The defending champion leads South Korea’s Choi Na-yeon and Michelle Wie by one stroke in the US$1.3 million tournament.

Wie tied for 57th in Phoenix and tied for 67th in the Kraft Nabisco — shooting 71-81-81-71.

Taiwan’s Yani Tseng tied at 12th with a four-under-par 69, while compatriots Teresa Lu and Amy Hung were further down the leaderboard. Lu was tied for 43rd with 72 and Hung was tied for 67th after shooting 74.

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