FORT WORTH, Texas Johnson Wagner bogeyed two of three holes midway through the first round of the Crowne Plaza Invitational on Thursday. That was only a small hiccup on his way to matching his best score on the PGA Tour.
After his approach at No. 10 missed the green for a bogey, Wagner responded with three consecutive birdies, including a nifty up-and-down on the 611-yard 11th hole. He then added two more before the round was over to increase his birdie total to nine for a 7-under 63 and a two-stroke lead over No. 2-ranked Phil Mickelson and Brett Wetterich.
"It felt like (the round) was going to slip away," Wagner said.
But it didn't, not even after his wind-pushed approach at No. 11 wound up in the rough well left of the green. Wagner flopped a shot to inside 6 feet of the pin on the back of the green."I decided to go ahead and try for the hero shot, and pulled it off," Wagner said. "It just righted the ship."
LPGA Corning Classic: At Corning, N.Y., nothing slowed Erica Blasberg, not even all the layers she was wearing at the start of the LPGA Corning Classic. Blasberg shot a 7-under 65 on Thursday, a raw day more like early March than late May, to take a two-shot lead over Na On Min of South Korea and Karine Icher of France after the first round. If this is the final Corning Classic for 51-year-old Sherri Turner, who's contemplating retirement, she seems determined to leave her favorite tour stop on a positive note. The 1988 Corning champ shot a 4-under 68, only her second round in the 60s in six events this year, and was tied for fourth with Na Yeon Choi, Sandra Gal, and 2005 Corning champ Jimin Kang.Paula Creamer, runner-up here last year and the only player competing with a victory in 2008, never got her game going in tough conditions and finished at 2-under 70, four shots better than defending champ Young Kim.
SENIOR PGA CHAMPIONSHIP: At Rochester, N.Y., Jay Haas withstood wet, bone-chilling and eventually windy conditions by shooting the only sub-par round Thursday to take the lead at the Senior PGA Championship at Oak Hill. Wearing a heavy wind-breaker buttoned to his neck, Haas finished the first round with a 1-under 69 to hold a one-shot lead over local favorite Jeff Sluman and New Jersey golf pro Bill Britton. There's a group of nine, including Bernhard Langer, Scott Hoch and Ian Woosnam, two shots off the lead at 71. Greg Norman, setting aside his many business ventures to make a rare competitive appearance, shot 72 in only his fourth tournament this year to sit in a nine-way tie in a group that includes defending Senior PGA champion Denis Watson.