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IN BRIEF | GOLF | 2-21-14

February 21, 2014 - 12:05am

Nordqvist leads LPGA Thailand

PATTAYA, Thailand — Anna Nordqvist holed out from 60 yards for eagle on the par-4 15th hole Thursday and made a short birdie putt on No. 17 to take a one-stroke lead over Michelle Wie of Honolulu after the first round of the LPGA Thailand.

Nordqvist, the 26-year-old Swede who won both of her LPGA Tour titles in 2009, shot a 6-under 66 on Siam Country Club’s Pattaya Old Course. She eagled No. 15 after making two straight bogeys.

Wie had six birdies and a bogey in her 67.

Americans Angela Stanford, Lexi Thompson and Jennifer Johnson shot 68. Stanford had a hole-in-one on the 135-yard eighth hole. She used an 8-iron.

Second-ranked Suzann Pettersen opened with a 69.

Top-ranked Inbee Park, the defending champion, had a 71 in her first start of the year.

McDowell makes another escape in Match Play

MARANA, Ariz. — Getting to the round of 16 in the Match Play Championship was all that mattered Thursday. It proved too difficult for Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy. And it gave Graeme McDowell more gray hairs.

McDowell staged yet another remarkable rally. He never led until his par on the 18th for a 1-up win over Hideki Matsuyama. In two matches, he has stood on a tee box with his match all square only four times — two of those at the start of the match.

Ernie Els hit a superb chip from the collar of a bunker to knock out Rose in 19 holes. McIlroy went into the desert and couldn’t escape, losing in 19 holes to Harris English.

That means the top four seeds are gone with four rounds left.

By wire sources