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Golf: Shanshan Feng (66) leads Women’s Open

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Shanshan Feng hits from a bunker on the fourth hole during the first round of the U.S. Women’s Open Championship on July 13.
(Matt Sullivan / Getty Images)

China’s Shanshan Feng had her best round in the U.S. Women’s Open, and the first-round lead.

Afternoon rain and lightning forced officials to suspend play for more than two hours Thursday at Bedminster, N.J., and play was stopped because of darkness with 39 players still on the course. They will return Friday to complete the round at Trump National Golf Course.

The weather was the only hitch for the players and the USGA, which took a lot of criticism for failing to move the $5-million event to another course after comments by President Donald Trump about women.

Despite fears of protests, Day 1 was uneventful. There were no demonstrators. Feng was outstanding, shooting a six-under-par 66 in a tournament in which she has rarely played well in her 10 seasons as a professional in the United States.

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Feng, who has never finished better than fourth in the Open (2012), started her round on the 10th hole and played the back side in five under, rolling in five birdies. She added another at No. 1 and then parred her last eight holes.

Amy Yang of South Korea was a shot behind. Lydia Ko of New Zealand played in the same threesome with Feng and was tied for third at 68 with top-ranked So Yeon Ryu of South Korea.

Carlota Ciganda also was four under with a hole left.

Former Open winner Cristie Kerr and Megan Khang were the best U.S. finishers at 69.

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Eight-under 63 leads at John Deere Classic

Charles Howell III and Ollie Schniederjans each shot eight-under 63 in perfect morning conditions to share the first-round lead in the John Deere Classic at Silvis, Ill.

Howell birdied seven of his first nine holes and added a birdie on No. 7 at rain-softened TPC Deere Run. Schniederjans birdied five of his last eight holes in his lowest round of the PGA Tour.

Rickie Fowler skipped the defense of his Scottish Open title last year because of scheduling conflicts with the Olympics. He began making up for lost time Thursday.

The American picked up where he left off in 2015 at the warmup event for the British Open, avoiding trouble and rolling in five birdies at Dundonald Links to shoot a five-under 67 in the first round. He was in a six-way tie for second place, two shots behind Finland’s Mikko Ilonen.

Fowler outplayed his partners Rory McIlroy (74) and Henrik Stenson (72) in the marquee group.

Larry Mize birdied half the holes and shot an eight-under 64 for a one-stroke lead after the opening round of the Senior Players Championship at Owings Mills, Md. Three-time defending champion Bernhard Langer, Corey Pavin and Steve Flesch were one shot back.


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