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Ko grabs lead at Swinging Skirts with Inkster in the mix

First Round — LPGA Tour — Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic – Lake Merced Golf Club — San Francisco, California —

Rolex Ranking World No. 1 Lydia Ko posted a 5-under-67 in her opening 18 holes at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic in San Francisco.

Ko, who won the title a season ago edging Stacy Lewis, leads Juli Inkster and others by just a shot. She opened as a 7-to-1 betting pick to win this title just behind Inbee Park (6 1/2-1), according to www.skybet.com. Lewis, Morgan Pressel and Caroline Hedwall are all T-5 at the moment as the final groups are finishing up round one action.

Lake Merced Golf Club was unkind to several high-profile players including Lexi Thompson and Michelle Wie, who carded 75s in the opening round. They are T-82 at the moment and need to make a move Friday to earn a weekend tee time. Former U.S. Women’s Open Paula Creamer failed to make a birdie in her round settling ┬áhost of bogeys and a pair of triples. She shot 82.

Inkster, who will captain the U.S. team at the Solheim Cup, is a Hall of Fame member with 31 career LPGA Tour victories. The 32-year professional ranks 160th in the current Rolex Ranking.

Other Golf news:

  • Brendon de Jonge and Boo Weekley opened with 8-under-64s to co-lead the PGA Tour’s Zurich Classic after 18 holes at TPC Louisiana. De Jonge was bogey free on his round as a 50-1 underdog to win the title, which would be his maiden PGA Tour triumph. A three-time PGA Tour, Weekley has three Top 10s this season including a runner-up at the Sanderson Farms Championship last November, but he has three missed cuts and a T-75 in his last four starts. David Hearn and Sean O’Hair are a shot back at 7-under.
  • Park, who moved back to No. 2 in the Rolex Ranking with a playoff loss last week in Hawaii, is T-43 at the moment at the Swinging Skirts. Park entered the week with four Top 5s in six starts in 2015. That included a victory at the HSBC Women’s Champions in China in early March.
  • Pre-tournament favorites Dustin Johnson and Jason Day are 5-under and T-10 at the moment at the Zurich Classic. Justin Rose, No. 9 in the Official World Golf Ranking, opened with 3-under-69 and sits T-31 after round one.
  • Several big names are struggling to make the cut in New Orleans including Rickie Fowler, who shot 72 and is T-95. Defending champion Seung-Yul Noh posted 73.