Shanshan Feng leads Kraft Nabisco
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — Michelle Wie let a couple of shots slip away late Thursday afternoon in the Kraft Nabisco Championship, leaving her a shot behind Shanshan Feng.
Tied for the lead after playing a four-hole stretch in 5 under, Wie lipped out a 3-foot par putt on the par-3 17th and settled for par and a 5-under 67 after her wedge approach released long on the par-5 18th.
Feng shot a 66 in perfect morning conditions at Mission Hills in the first major championship of the year. The 24-year-old Chinese player had seven birdies and a bogey.
Se Ri Pak birdied her final hole in the afternoon to match Wie at 67.
Angel Yin, a 15-year-old amateur from the Los Angeles suburb of Arcadia, was another stroke back at 68 with Amy Yang.
Mickelson among leaders at Houston Open
HUMBLE, Texas — Phil Mickelson is among the leaders after shooting a bogey-free 4-under par 68 in his opening round of the Houston Open, showing no effects of the muscle pull that forced him to withdraw from last week’s Texas Open.
The five-time major winner, who practiced at Augusta National for two days this week in advance of the Masters, is three shots back of leaders Bill Haas and Charley Hoffman — both who shot 7-under 65.
Keegan Bradley and Matt Kuchar lead a group of five golfers at 6 under after Thursday’s play.
Former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy, playing in the afternoon on the 7,441-yard Golf Club of Houston, finished with a 2-under 70 — five shots back of the lead. World No. 10 Dustin Johnson withdrew after an 8-over 80.
Bouchard ousts Venus Williams at Family Circle
CHARLESTON, S.C. — Venus Williams couldn’t dig herself out of a hole this time and lost to Eugenie Bouchard 7-6 (6), 2-6, 6-4 at the Family Circle Cup on Thursday.
The 33-year-old Williams had fought back in each of her first two matches to advance. She seemed to follow the same game-plan in this one, rallying from a set down to win the second set and lead 2-1 in the third.
That’s when the 20-year-old Canadian, took over, breaking Williams’ serve twice down the stretch including the final game.
Williams’ defeat was part of a difficult day for past champions of the clay-court event. Along with 2004 winner Williams, two other previous Family Circle champs in Sabine Lisicki (2009) and Samantha Stosur (2010) lost third-round matches.
Lisicki, the fourth seed, fell to German countrywoman Andrea Petkovic 6-1, 6-0. Stosur, seeded seventh, was beaten by No. 9 seed Lucie Safarova 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.
By wire sources