Kirk leads OHL Classic with opening 63

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Ben Crane hits from the 13th tee during the OHL Classic on Thursday in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico — Chris Kirk shot an 8-under 63 on Thursday to take a one-stroke lead in the OHL Classic at Mayakoba.

Kirk had four birdies on each nine in his bogey-free round on Mayakoba’s Greg Norman-designed El Camaleon course.

The former Georgia star has two top-10 finishes in three starts in the new PGA Tour season, opening with a tie for eighth at Silverado and tying for second in Mississippi. He won the last of his four PGA Tour titles in 2015.

Ben Crane, Camilo Villegas and Gary Woodland were tied for second.

Mexico’s Abraham Ancer bogeyed the final hole for a 65. NCAA champion Aaron Wise also was 65 along with Webb Simpson, Scott Piercy, Kevin Streelman and Nicholas Lindheim.

Jim Furyk had a double bogey in a 74 in his first round of the season.

Defending champion Graeme McDowell opened with a 75.

Lorena Ochoa Invitational

MEXICO CITY — Carlota Ciganda birdied three of the last six holes for a 5-under 67 and a share of the lead with Sarah Jane Smith in the Citibanamex Lorena Ochoa Invitational.

Ciganda had a bogey-free opening round at Club de Golf Mexico. The Spaniard won last month in South Korea for her first LPGA Tour title.

Smith played the back nine in 5-under 31 after bogeying Nos. 8 and 9 to make the turn at even par. The Australian is winless on the LPGA Tour.

Mexican amateur Maria Fassi, a freshman at the University of Arkansas playing on a sponsor invite, was two strokes back at 69 along with South Korea’s Chella Choi and France’s Karine Icher.

Michelle Wie opened with a 70. The 2009 winner in Guadalajara, she’s also playing on a sponsor invite after failing to qualify for the 30-player event.

Canada’s Brooke Henderson, the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 7 in the world, had a double bogey in a 74. No. 14 Anna Nordqvist also struggled, making a double bogey in a 75.

Nedbank Golf Challenge

SUN CITY, South Africa — Henrik Stenson shot a 3-under 69 in the Nedbank Golf Challenge, leaving the Swede a stroke back in his bid to wrap up the Race to Dubai title with a victory Sunday.

England’s Ross Fisher, Chile’s Felipe Aguilar and South Korea’s Jeunghun Wang shot 68 at Gary Player Country Club. Sweden’s Alex Noren, England’s Chris Wood, South Africa’s George Coetzee, France’s Victor Dubuisson and Scotland’s Richie Ramsay matched Stenson at 69.


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