Betsy King marveled at the attention heaped on Se Ri Pak, then went out and played her best round of the season Thursday in the first round of the du Maurier Classic in Windsor, Canada.
King missed only one green and never really came close to a bogey in a round of eight-under-par 64 that gave her a one-stroke lead over Meg Mallon and Wendy Doolan of Australia.
King’s 64 at Essex Golf and Country Club tied a tournament record, last matched by Dawn Coe-Jones in 1993.
Pak, the 20-year-old South Korean trying to become the first player since Ben Hogan in 1953 to win three majors in a row, was five strokes back after a 69.
Playing with the lift-and-clean rule in effect, former champion Nick Price, Paul Azinger and left-hander Russ Cochran shot 65s to share the first-round lead in the St. Jude Classic at Memphis, Tenn.
Scott Hoch and amateur David Gossett, 19, of Germantown, Tenn., were in a group of four players a shot off the lead with 66s on the waterlogged 7,006-yard, par-71 TPC at Southwind course.
Matt Kuchar, tempted to turn pro after strong performances at the Masters and U.S. Open, will defend his U.S. Amateur title next month, then return to Georgia Tech, according to Golfweek magazine’s weekly news letter. . . . Beginning in 2000, the B.C. Open, a tournament usually held in September, in Endicott, N.Y.--and without benefit of a major corporate sponsor and network television--will be played in July--opposite the British Open--for at least three years. The move is being made to accommodate scheduling for upcoming World Tour events.
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Leaders after Thursday’s play (Complete scores, C13):
DU MAURIER CLASSIC--Par 72
Betsy King: 32-32--64 -8
Meg Mallon: 32-33--65 -7
Wendy Doolan: 34-31--65 -7
ST. JUDE CLASSIC--Par 71
Nick Price: 34-31--65 -6
Paul Azinger: 33-32--65 -6
Russ Cochran: 32-33--65 -6
Mark Carnevale: 35-31--66 -5
David Gossett: 31-35--66 -5
Donnie Hammond: 34-32--66 -5
Scott Hoch: 34-32--66 -5