Bernhard Langer shoots 64 to open defense of ACE Group Classic title

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NAPLES, Fla. — Defending champ Bernhard Langer shot 8-under-par 64 on Friday to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the ACE Group Classic.

After making a slight adjustment in his putting stance, Langer birdied three of his first holes in his bogey-free round on TwinEagles’ Talon Course.

The 56-year-old German star won the 2011 tournament and finished second behind Kenny Perry in 2012. Langer won the season-opening event in Hawaii in January for his 19th Champions Tour title.

Bob Tway is second. He birdied his last three holes, making a 60-foot putt on No. 8.

Olin Browne opened with 66. Duffy Waldorf and Kirk Triplett shot 67.

Augusta’s Larry Mize had 71.

WEB.COM TOUR: In Bogota, Colombia, Bill Lunde grabbed the lead in the second round of the Pacific Rubiales Colombia Championship with 3-under-par 68, the opening stop of the season.

Justin Thomas and Jonathan Ran­dolph are 7-under through 16 and 15 holes, respectively.

Evans resident Vaughn Taylor (68) is tied for fifth at 5-under. Former Aiken resident Matt Hendrix is 3-under through 16 holes.

EUROPEAN/SUNSHINE TOURS: In East London, South Africa, John Hahn had six birdies and an eagle on the back nine for 10-under-par 61 to lead the Africa Open by two shots before the second round was postponed by darkness.

Hahn did finish after a 90-minute morning rain delay, and took just 28 strokes to come home after starting on No. 10 to go 16-under.

LPGA TOUR/LADIES EUROPEAN TOUR/AUSTRALIAN LADIES PRO GOLF: In Melbourne, Australia, Caroline Hedwall had a hole- in-one as part of 7-under-par par 65 that gave her a one-shot lead after the second round of the women’s Australian Open.

Hedwall aced the par-3 16th and also eagled the par-5 eighth along with five birdies and two bogeys to reach
11-under 133, one shot ahead of world No. 2 Suzanne Pettersen.

Pettersen, who shot 66 to lead after the first round, had 68 at Victoria Golf Club which included five birdies and one bogey. Australian amateur Minjee Lee was a further shot back at 9-under after 67.

Hedwall said she wasn’t aware she had a hole in one at 16 until she reached the green.

“I couldn’t see it and the crowd didn’t want to yell because Laura (Davies) was hitting off on No. 17, so we walked up there and they were like, ‘it went in’,” Hedwall said.

“Yesterday I hit a full 7-iron over the green (for bogey at 16) and it was basically the same yardage today. So I hit a softer 7-iron. It covered the pin the whole way and I just saw it bounce once and hit the pin but I didn’t see it go in.”

Anna Nordqvist had the round of the day with 64 which set a new course record for women, and was tied for fourth at 8-under with Holly Clyburn and world No. 4 Lydia Ko.

Hedwall’s ace at 16 gave her the outright lead but she briefly lost it to Minjee Lee before her birdie, eagle, birdie finish.

“I’m driving pretty well,” Hedwall said. “I missed a couple of drives yesterday and today but I managed to save a couple of bogeys and I’m still making a lot of birdies and also eagles.”

The 17-year-old Lee, who was runner-up at last week’s Women’s Australian Masters, is vying again for a tournament victory after a second round which included an eagle and three birdies.

“It was such a slow start,” Lee said. “I started with nine pars. I was just patient and it came together late in the round.”


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