McKay Leads First Round in Ohio
Michele Vinieratos posted a 5-under-par 67 to finish alone in third while 2000 winner Lorie Kane, Mi Hyun Kim, Tina Barrett and Michele Redman were tied at 4-under-par 68.
Vinieratos jumped out to the early lead with seven birdies and two bogeys, but McKay soon took control thanks to a tremendous start on the back side at Tartan Fields Golf Club.
McKay drained a 20-footer for birdie at the 11th and birdied the 12th after she hit a sand wedge to 10 feet. At the par-5 13th, McKay reached the green in two with a 3-wood and ran home a 10-foot putt for eagle.
She continued her barrage at the 14th with a birdie to move to 5-under over her first five holes.
At the par-5 second, her 11th hole of the round, McKay hit her second shot short of the green and chipped onto the putting surface for birdie and the outright lead. She added to her advantage with a birdie at the par-3 ninth to complete a bogey-free round.
'I'm drained,' said McKay, who finished tied for ninth at this event last year. 'It's exhausting out there. The heat and humidity really takes it out of you. But I'm ecstatic with the way I played. I struck the ball really well and managed to make some putts, so I'm delighted.'
Jones also played the back nine first and picked up back-to-back birdies from the 12th to quickly move to 2-under. Jones added a birdie at the 16th and hit a 6-iron to 12 feet for birdie at the 17th.
The 42-year-old picked up birdies at four and five before her only mistake of the round at the par-3 sixth. Jones hit her tee shot to the back of the green and three-putted from 45 feet for bogey.
Jones responded well, however, with a birdie at the par-5 ninth to finish one shot off the lead.
'All of a sudden I got here this week and got really sick,' said Jones. 'I was feeling really bad yesterday. This cold has kind of knocked me out. But I think I'm on the upswing now.'
Vinieratos, who tied for 41st at last year's LPGA Final Qualifying School to earn non-exempt status for 2002, turned 34 today and was treated to her best round on the LPGA Tour.
'I was looking forward to today,' said Vinieratos. 'Kind of happy starting out. Just started hitting fairways, hitting greens. I hit it well. Birdies started falling.'
Minny Yeo, Pat Hurst and 20-year-old amateur Virada Nirapathpongporn finished at 3-under-par 69.
Defending champion Wendy Ward managed a round of even-par 72 to finish seven shots off the pace.
U.S. Women's Open champion Juli Inkster posted an opening-round, 1-over 73.
Romo turns in even in PGA Tour debut
After stumbling out of the gates, Tony Romo has found his footing in his PGA Tour debut.
Playing in the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship on a sponsor exemption, Romo shot an even-par 36 for his opening nine holes in the Dominican Republic. The former NFL quarterback bogeyed his first two holes, but steadied the ship with three birdies from Nos. 4-8 while playing alongside Dru Love and Denny McCarthy.
The early highlight of the round came at the par-4 fifth hole, where Romo drained a putt from across the green for his second straight birdie:
Romo has played as an amateur partner in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and has played individually in U.S. Open local qualifiers and mini-tour events as an amateur. But this marks his first attempt to gauge his game against the best players in the world who are not in Austin for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
Romo, who plays to a plus-0.3 handicap, said earlier in the week that he expected some jitters once it came time to put a tee in the ground.
"You'll be nervous on Thursday on the first tee. Just going to be," Romo said. "I've got to get through the first three or four holes. If I can handle the nerves on the first three or four holes, I think that I'll settle in and hopefully just play the way I've been playing."
Click here to watch live first-round action on Golf Channel.
Kim's missing clubs show up at sporting goods store
More than a month after they were lost on an American Airlines flight, the clubs I.K. Kim used to win last year's Ricoh Women's British Open turned up on the sale rack of a California sporting goods store.
Kim's clubs became lost in late January when she flew from Miami to San Diego, with the airline suggesting she simply rent a new set. A few weeks later, Kim shot a "What's in the bag" television segment which according to a Golfweek report caught the eye of three good samaritans in the San Diego area.
The three men recognized Kim's clubs for sale at a local Play It Again Sports, with the major winner's tools listed at $60 each. The store even had Kim's tour bag, complete with her LPGA player badge. Kim filmed the reunion with her bag - containing wedges and a few hybrids, minus the head covers - at the Carlsbad police station:
What’s in my bag now?! They were selling at Play it again ... only $60 each in San Diego. Jack, Jeff, Paul watched my video with @alisonwhitaker1 in Singapore and found my remaining clubs and brought it back to me @lpga_tour this week at Aviara!! Btw... Where is the head covers? They might sell separately?Never mind.
Kim was back in southern California this week for the Kia Classic, where she'll begin play Thursday morning at Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad.
WGC-Dell Match Play: Scoring, live stream, standings
New dad Garcia removes shoes, wins match
AUSTIN, Texas – In one of the day’s most explosive matches, Sergio Garcia rolled in an 8-footer for birdie at the 18th hole to defeat Shubhankar Sharma, 1 up, at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
The duo halved just nine holes on Day 1 at Austin Country Club, with Garcia going from 2 up through four holes to 1 down with five holes to play.
But the Spaniard rallied with five birdies over his final eight holes and pushed his record to 20-17-1 in the Match Play. He also gave himself his best chance to advance out of pool play since the format began in 2015.
The victory continued what has already been a memorable week for Garcia, whose wife, Angela, gave birth to the couple’s first child last Wednesday.
“I already feel like I’m a winner after what happened on Wednesday,” Garcia said. “Obviously, it's something that we're so, so happy and proud of and enjoying it as much as possible.”
The highlight of Garcia’s round on Wednesday came at the 12th hole when he took a drop on a cart path. After considering his options, he removed his shoes and hit his approach from 212 yards to 29 feet for a two-putt birdie to halve the hole.
“I have spikes. So if I don't take my shoes off, I'm going to slip. It's not the kind of shot that you want to slip,” Garcia said. “I had tried it a couple of times on practice swings and I was already slipping a little bit. So I thought I would just take my shoes off, try to get a little bit in front of the hole and it came out great.”