ON THE LINKS Thursday’s professional golf results
PGA OHL CLASSIC
PLAYA DEL CARMEN, MEXICO
Chris Kirk shot an 8-under 63 to take a one-stroke lead in the OHL Classic at Mayakoba. Kirk had four birdies on each nine in his bogey-free round on Mayakoba’s Greg Norman-designed El Camaleon course. “I don’t think anybody’s comfort’s really that high,” Kirk said. “I definitely drove the ball well today. Just trying to stick to my sort of go to shot and hit draws out there for the most part. It’s definitely intimidating off the tee a little bit, but thankfully I hit a lot of good ones today.” The former University of Georgia player has two top-10 finishes in three starts in the new PGA Tour season, opening with a tie for eighth at Silverado and tying for second in Mississippi. He tied for 61st last week in Las Vegas, closing with rounds of 75 and 74. “I just played pretty terrible over the weekend in Vegas, but I think I was just a little bit tired,” Kirk said. “So thankfully, I came and took Monday and Tuesday completely off and didn’t touch a club and just tried to relax, and now I feel kind of re-energized and ready to play again. No, I definitely wasn’t expecting to shoot 63 today, but happy I did.” He won the last of his four PGA Tour titles in 2015. Ben Crane, Camilo Villegas and Gary Woodland were tied for second at 64. “This is a very tight golf course,” Crane said. “After maybe 10 to 15 yards of rough on each side, it’s just jungle, right? When you get some crosswinds, you’ve got to hit solid tee shots and you’ve got to really control your ball. You really want to be able to flight your ball because you really don’t want to be curving it down on that crosswind downwind, right, because it’s going to curve so much.”
CITIBANAMEX LORENA OCHOA INVITATIONAL
Carlota Ciganda birdied three of the last six holes for a 5-under 67 and a share of the lead with Sarah Jane Smith in the Citibanamex Lorena Ochoa Invitational. Ciganda had a bogey-free opening round at Club de Golf Mexico. The Spaniard won last month in South Korea for her first LPGA Tour title. Smith played the back nine in 5-under 31 after bogeying Nos. 8 and 9 to make the turn at even par. The Australian is winless on the LPGA Tour. Mexican amateur Maria Fassi, a freshman at the University of Arkansas playing on a sponsor invite, was two strokes back at 69 along with South Korea’s Chella Choi and France’s Karine Icher. Michelle Wie opened with a 70. The 2009 winner in Guadalajara, she’s also playing on a sponsor invite after failing to qualify for the 30-player event. Canada’s Brooke Henderson, the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 7 in the world, had a double bogey in a 74. No. 14 Anna Nordqvist also struggled, making a double bogey in a 75.
NEDBANK GOLF CHALLENGE
SUN CITY, SOUTH AFRICA
Henrik Stenson shot a 3-under 69 in the Nedbank Golf Challenge, leaving the Swede a stroke back in his bid to wrap up the Race to Dubai title with a victory Sunday.
England’s Ross Fisher, Chile’s Felipe Aguilar and South Korea’s Jeunghun Wang shot 68 at Gary Player Country Club.