Munoz in LPGA lead; Wie 7 back
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Azahara Munoz fired a 7-under 65 yesterday to take a one-stroke lead over Katherine Hull and Jee Young Lee in the Bell Micro LPGA Classic, the LPGA Tour's first event since Erica Blasberg was found dead.
Munoz, who won the 2008 NCAA individual title to lead Arizona State to the team championship, had a bogey-free round on The Crossings course at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail's Magnolia Grove complex in Mobile, Ala.
"This morning I couldn't get up," said Munoz, who had a 6:50 a.m. tee time off the 10th tee. "But once I'm up and I get going, it's fine."
Blasberg died Sunday in suburban Las Vegas. Winless in six LPGA Tour seasons, Blasberg was 25.
Cristie Kerr, Meena Lee, Janice Moodie and Hye Jung Choi shot 67s.
No. 1 ranked Jiyai Shin and Japan's Ai Miyazato, winner of three of five events this season, opened with 70s. Punahou alum and Stanford student Michelle Wie from Hawai'i shot a 72.
JONES TOPS TEXAS
Matt Jones eagled the par-5 14th hole and finished with a 6-under 66 to take a one-stroke lead yesterday after the first round of the Texas Open at San Antonio.
Jones, a 30-year-old Australian, also had four birdies in a back-nine 30 on the Greg Norman-designed Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio, the tournament's new site after 15 years at La Cantera.
Dean Wilson, a Castle High and BYU alum from Kāne'ohe, struggled to an opening 79.
CUSHING STILL NO. 1
A positive drug test notwithstanding, Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing is still The Associated Press NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Five days after he was suspended without pay for four games, a nationwide panel of 50 sports writers and broadcasters who cover the NFL voted again to give Cushing the award.
"I was just glad to hear the news, that people stuck by me. Very honored," said Cushing, who insists he never used any banned substances even though he tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug. "I'm very happy to have the award once again, and I'm just happy with how everything turned out."
Houston forward Brian Ching returned to the Houston Dynamo after missing more than a month and a half with a strained hamstring.
Ching entered the Dynamo's game against Real Salt Lake at Sandy, Utah, in the 62nd minute last night, four days before he is to start workouts with the U.S. national team. Real Salt Lake won, 3-1.
Although he didn't get a shot, the Kamehameha Schools alum from Hale'iwa, said the hamstring felt fine after playing 28 minutes in the chilly weather.
"My lungs were a little bit better than I thought they'd be, so I'm ready," said Ching, who played on the U.S. World Cup team four years ago. "I felt good out there."
FEDERER LEADS WAY
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal reached the quarterfinals of the Madrid Masters yesterday with straight set victories.
The top-ranked Federer beat Swiss countryman Stanislas Wawrinka, 6-3, 6-1, and second-ranked Nadal held off big-serving John Isner of the United States, 7-5, 6-4.