Three share lead at Evian Masters

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EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France --- Becky Brewerton shot 5-under-par 67 and was tied for the first-round lead at the Evian Masters on Thursday, while Michelle Wie rescued a disappointing start with two late birdies.

Michelle Wie: Teen overcame a poor start to shoot 73 and is six strokes back of the co-leaders in the Evian Masters in France.  Associated Press
Associated Press
Michelle Wie: Teen overcame a poor start to shoot 73 and is six strokes back of the co-leaders in the Evian Masters in France.

The South Korean duo of Na Yeon Choi and In-Kyung Kim also shot 67s in windy and overcast conditions that forced play to be suspended for one hour because of late-afternoon thunder.

Kim's round was highlighted by holing out with a 9-iron for eagle at the 11th, while Choi made three birdies on both the front and back nine and only one bogey.

Top-ranked Lorena Ochoa, of Mexico, teeing off with Alfredsson and Marianne Skarpnord, of Norway, double-bogeyed her opening hole and finished an inconsistent day with 75.

Wie bogeyed Nos. No. 3, 6 and 13 before birdies on the last two holes for 73. She had plenty of players between her and the lead, including defending champion Helen Alfredsson of Sweden, who is chasing her fourth Evian title and had four birdies in her round of 70.

Wendy Ward, of the United States, shot 68 to stay in touch with the leaders, along with South Korea's Ji Young Oh, Britain's Karen Stupples and France's Karen Icher.

Brewerton, from Wales, birdied four of the last five holes on the front nine and was on pace to match Alfredsson's course record of 63 after moving to 5-under through 10. Bogeys on the 13th and 14th slowed her down, but Brewerton made two more birdies coming in.

"My short game was excellent," the 26-year-old Brewerton said. "I hit quite a lot of shots in very close on the front nine, so didn't have much work left to do for birdie."

Brewerton has more reasons to succeed at Europe's richest women's tournament than just the $3.25-million purse. Following her win at the Spanish Open last week, Brewerton is desperate to play for Europe in next month's Solheim Cup.

"It would be nice to get back-to-back wins, which Diana Luna did a couple of weeks ago," said Brewerton, a former English Open champion. "Martin Kaymer has done it on the men's (tour) recently, so fingers crossed it will be my turn."

The 19-year-old Wie, who is bidding for a Solheim Cup spot for the U.S. team, missed an easy par putt on the sixth hole, but recovered to end the day on a high note.

"I couldn't get anything going, couldn't make any putts," Wie said. "(I have) three more days to make it up. (Holes) 17 and 18 were a real positive boost for tomorrow."

She needs a big improvement if she is to collect any points for the Solheim Cup.

Wie is in 16th place on the list, with the top 10 getting automatic spots on captain Beth Daniel's team.

EUROPEAN TOUR: In Loddekop-inge, Sweden, Lee Slattery birdied the first four holes and shot 6-under 67 to take the first-round lead in the SAS Masters.

Slattery, ranked 504th in the world, leads Ricardo Gonzalez by one shot.

NATIONWIDE TOUR: In Omaha, Neb., Garth Mulroy shot 10-under 61 to take the first round lead in the Cox Classic.

Mulroy leads Matt Every by one shot.

Augusta's Scott Parel opened with 69.


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