DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Henrik Stenson strengthened his chances of winning the European money title, shooting a 4-under 68 on Thursday that left the Swede two shots behind leader Alejandro Canizares of Spain after first round of the season-ending World Tour Championship.
Having already won the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup, Stenson also leads the Race to Dubai standings and was two shots ahead of nearest rival and playing partner Justin Rose of England.
The points champion will receive $1 million from a $3.75 million bonus pool that counts on the final money list. In September, Stenson won the PGA Tour’s season-ending Tour Championship to take the FedEx Cup title and $10 million bonus.
Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Australia’s Marcus Fraser were tied for second at 67 on Jumeirah Golf Estates’ Earth Course. Wales’ Jamie Donaldson and Spain’s Rafa Cabrera-Bello matched Stenson at 68.
LORENA OCHOA INVITATIONAL
GUADALAJARA, Mexico (AP) — Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum took the first-round lead in the Lorena Ochoa Invitational, birdieing seven of the first 13 holes at Guadalajara Country Club.
The 23-year-old Phatlum, winless in five seasons on the LPGA Tour, dropped a stroke on the par-4 14th hole and finished with a 6-under 66.
Amy Yang was a stroke back, and fellow South Korean players Inbee Park and So Yeon Ryu were two shots back at 68 along with Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist.
The top-ranked Park swept the first three major championships of the season and has three other LPGA Tour wins this season. She’s winless in eight starts since the U.S. Women’s Open in late June.
Michelle Wie shot 69. She won the 2009 tournament for the first of her two LPGA Tour victories.
Second-ranked Suzann Pettersen opened with a 70.
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Adam Scott shot a 4-under 67 in the first round of his Australian Masters title defense, leaving him two strokes behind fellow Australian Nick Cullen.
The second-ranked Scott made a bogey on the par-4 eighth — his 17th hole of the day — at Royal Melbourne to drop into a tie for second place with Germany’s Max Kieffer.
Scott won the Australian PGA on Sunday at Royal Pines in his first home event since winning the Masters at Augusta National. He will team with Jason Day for Australia next week in the World Cup, also at Royal Melbourne, then play the Australian Open the following week at Royal Sydney.
American Matt Kuchar opened with a 71.
Jarrod Lyle, returning to play after his second bout with leukemia, shot 72.
PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico (AP) — Brian Stuard topped the OHL Classic leaderboard at 5 under with three holes left when first-round play was suspended for the day because of rain and wet conditions.
More than 3 inches of rain soaked the Mayakoba Resort since early Wednesday night.
Play was suspended from 8:40 to 11 a.m., and stopped again at 1:22 p.m. It was called for the day at 3:30 p.m., with only 15 players able to finish their rounds on the El Camaleon course.
Two-time heart transplant recipient Erik Compton and Alvaro Quiros were a stroke back. Compton completed 17 holes, and Quiros finished 15.