Sat, Apr 25, 2009 - Page 19 News List

Charlie Wi takes route 66 to lead in New Orleans

REUTERS , HOUSTON, TEXAS

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

PHOTO: AFP

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.

CORONA CHAMPIONSHIP

AFP, MORELIA, MEXICO

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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