Americans making early stand


The small American contingent at the Mizuno Classic in Japan is making some noise.

With just nine Americans in the 78-player field, and none of those Americans among the top 30 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings, the odds are against the United States breaking its 0 for 16 run in LPGA events. Brittany Lang and Vicky Hurst, however, positioned themselves early to do just that. Lang’s 66 leads after one round with Hurst tied for fourth two shots back.

Neither Lang nor Hurst, however, has won an LPGA event before. Lang, 24, is seeking her first victory in her 105th LPGA start as a pro. Hurst, 19, is a rookie. Hurst is bidding to be the first American LPGA rookie to win since Meaghan Francella won the MasterCard Classic in March of 2007. Americans have won only four events this year, the fewest in any season since the LPGA was formed in 1950. Angela Stanford, Brittany Lincicome, Pat Hurst and Cristie Kerr are the American winners this season.