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LPGA

Kirk shoots 10-under for lead at Thornberry

ONEIDA, WIS.

Defending champion Katherine Kirk shot a 10-under-par 62 to take the first-round lead at the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic on Thursday.

Kirk wasted no time in picking up from where she left off last year, when she snapped a seven-year, 152-tournament victory drought in the inaugural edition of the Classic. Starting on the back nine, Kirk opened with three consecutive birdies and ended her day with a perfect wedge into the par-5 ninth for a tap-in birdie.

“Obviously, I know you can go low out there, so stepping onto the first tee, I said, ‘Let’s play aggressively and make as many birdies as possible,”’ she said. “Thankfully, it worked out. Having shot 9-under last year and I knew the conditions were going to be perfect this morning. ... I got off to a hot start and tried to keep the pedal down on the (final) nine.”

Kirk needed to keep her foot on the gas because 21 players shot 6-under or better. Sei Young Kim was a stroke behind at 63, and Brittany Marchand and Megan Khang were tied at 64.

Emma Talley made a run at Kirk late in the afternoon. After an opening bogey, she made nine birdies in a stretch of 10 holes to get to 8 under through 11 before cooling off. She finished with a bogey and was one of seven players at 7 under.

PGA

Rahm off the pace in Round 1 of Irish Open

DONEGAL, IRELAND

Defending champion Jon Rahm made back-to-back double bogeys around the turn in shooting a 2-over 74 in the opening round of the Irish Open on Thursday, leaving the world No. 5 seven shots behind leader Ryan Fox.

One under par after his first eight holes, Rahm duffed his third shot from the rough at the par-4 No. 18 into a greenside bunker and slammed his club into the turf in frustration. Then the Spaniard drove into a fairway bunker on No. 1 and compounded the error by three-putting from long range.

Rahm pulled one shot back with a birdie at the par-5 4th hole but he could be battling to just make the cut at Ballyliffin Golf Club.

Staff/wire reports

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