KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) Sweden’s Rikard Karlberg birdied his last two holes Thursday for a 7-under 65 and a two-stroke lead in the CIMB Classic.
Karlberg also had five birdies on the front nine in a bogey-free round at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club. After a round interrupted by a two-hour delay for thunderstorms, a trio of players were two shots back – Americans Billy Hurley III and Brian Stuard and Angelo Que of the Philippines.
Karlberg is among the top 10 Asian Tour players who qualified for event jointly sanctioned by the PGA Tour.
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The Swede, who splits his time between the Asian and European Tours, is making only his third PGA Tour appearance after missing the cut twice in the U.S. Open.
Eight players were tied a stroke further back at 68, including defending champion Ryan Moore, who finished his round with four straight birdies.
FedEx Cup champion Billy Horschel opened with a 72.
CHARLES SCHWAB CUP CHAMPIONSHIP
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) – Tom Pernice Jr. shot a 5-under 65 to take a one-stroke lead over Bernhard Langer and three others in the Champions Tour’s Charles Schwab Cup Championship.
Pernice rebounded from a bogey on the par-3 17th with a birdie on the par-5 18th on Desert Mountain’s Cochise Course. The 55-year-old player won the Principal Charity Classic in Iowa in June for his third career victory on the 50-and-older tour.
Langer won the Charles Schwab Cup points title last week in San Antonio, taking a lot of the drama out of the season-ending event. The 57-year-old German star has a tour-high five victories – two of them majors – and also has wrapped up the season money title with $2,916,189.
Jay Haas, Kenny Perry and Joe Durant matched Langer at 66. Haas won two weeks ago in North Carolina to become the 18th player to win a Champions Tour event at 60 or older.
The top 30 on the money list qualified for the tournament.
LPGA TAIWAN CHAMPIONSHIP
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) – Top-ranked Inbee Park birdied five of the last seven holes for an 8-under 64 and a share of the first-round lead in the LPGA Taiwan Championship.
The South Korean star, playing her first round since regaining the No. 1 spot in the world Monday, was tied with China’s Shanshan Feng after her bogey-free round at Miramar.
Feng eagled the par-5 sixth hole and had six birdies in her bogey-free round.
South Korea’s So Yeon Ryu, settled for a 66 after playing the first 12 holes in 9 under. She bogeyed the par-3 17th and had a double bogey on the par-5 18th.
Taiwan’s Ssu-Chia Cheng, Denmark’s Line Vedel and Japan’s Haru Nomura also shot 66.
Second-ranked Stacy Lewis had a 67, and Michelle Wie topped the group at 68.
SHANGHAI, China (AP) – France’s Alexander Levy had five straight birdies in the middle of his round and finished with a 7-under 65 to take the lead in the BMW Masters.
Levy began the birdie run on the par-4 ninth on Lake Malaren’s Masters Course. He won the Volvo China Open in Shenzhen in April for his first European Tour title and took the rain-shortened Portugal Masters this month.
The tournament opens the four-event Final Series. The World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions is next week, also in Shanghai, followed by the Turkish Airlines Open and World Tour Championship in Dubai.
Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts was a stroke back along with Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo and France’s Romain Wattel. Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell topped the six European Ryder Cup players in the field with a 67. Gleneagles teammates Jamie Donaldson and Thomas Bjorn shot 68.
Defending champion Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano of Spain had a 72.