Granada shoots 66, leads LPGA finale by 2


The LPGA's final event of 2014 is underway, and the player at the top of the standings has plenty of experience playing high-stakes golf. Here's how things look after one round of the CME Group Tour Championship, where Julieta Granada holds a two-shot lead:

Leaderboard: Julieta Granada (-6), Sandra Gal (-4), Stacy Lewis (-3), Belen Mozo (-3), Caroline Hedwall (-3), Angela Stanford (-2), Carlota Ciganda (-2), So Yeon Ryu (-2)

What it means: Granada was the first $1 million recipient in LPGA history when she had a seven-figure payday in 2006, and she moved to the front of the pack with a bogey-free 66. While she's not eligible to win the $1 million bonus in Naples, she could still take home $500,000 for winning the event but she'll need to fight off Lewis, among others, to end an eight-year LPGA victory drought.

Round of the day: Granada made few errors in the first round, missing only one fairway and finding 15 of 18 greens in regulation. Her six birdies included back-to-back circles on both Nos. 7-8 and Nos. 13-14, as she needed only 28 putts to complete a round that left her two shots clear of her closest competitor.

Best of the rest: Gal hasn't won on the LPGA since her maiden victory in 2011, but she's in position to contend this week after a 4-under 68. Like Granada, Gal missed only three greens in regulation and the German's round was highlighted by an eagle 3 on the par-5 17th that gave her sole possession of second place.

Biggest disappointment: Anna Nordqvist is No. 11 in the Rolex Rankings, but the Swede stumbled out of the gates and failed to get things going from there. Nordqvist bogeyed four of her first five holes and made only two birdies all day, closing her round with a double bogey on No. 18 that left her with a 5-over 77 and 11 shots off the pace.

Biggest storyline heading into Friday: It remains to be seen if Granada can go wire-to-wire as Christina Kim did last week in Mexico, but the biggest subplot remains the race for the $1 million season-long prize between Lewis, Inbee Park and Lydia Ko. Lewis has the early edge after a 3-under 69, but Park and Ko both remain in the hunt after matching rounds of 1-under 71.

Shot of the day: Michelle Wie's opening 72 ended in style, although the closing holes were a bit chaotic. Wie was in red figures before a double bogey on No. 16 was followed by a 3-putt bogey on No. 17, but Wie bounced back with a chip-in birdie from just off the green on the home hole.