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Frost comes early for Canadian PGA event

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published August 30, 2002

SURREY, British Columbia -- David Frost won't have to look far for the bottle of wine he owes Ian Leggatt.

Frost took a driving range tip from Leggatt onto the course Thursday and walked off 18 holes later with a bogey-free, 6-under-par 65 and a one-stroke lead in the Air Canada Championship.

"I gave him a putting lesson before he won at Tucson and he gave me a bottle of wine after that," said Frost, who produces and sells wine from his 300-acre vineyard in his native South Africa. "I owe him a bottle of wine now."

Shigeki Maruyama, Peter Lonard, Scott Gump and Hank Kuehne opened with 65, and four more players shot 67.

"I had a lot of chances on the way home but the poa annua greens are hard to judge," Maruyama said through an interpreter.

"There is still a long way to go, but I walked off the course today at 5 under and thought that's probably as bad as I could have shot so I'm pretty keen to get back out tomorrow," said Lonard, who was upset at missing three or four putts inside 6 feet.

"If I can hit it like this the rest of the week I think I'll have a pretty good chance.

A group of 14, including defending champion Joel Edwards, Fred Funk and Canadians Mike Weir and Glen Hnatiuk, finished their morning rounds three shots back at 68.

STATE FARM CLASSIC: Becky Morgan, winless in two seasons on the LPGA Tour, shot a career-best 9-under 63 to take the first-round lead in Springfield, Ill.

Morgan, who started on the 10th hole, birdied seven of the final 10 holes, hit 17 greens in regulation and had only 26 putts in the bogey-free round on the Rail Golf Course.

"I just wanted to keep it going forward and not get defensive," Morgan said. "It really was like every putt I looked at on the last nine seemed to go in. It was fun. My putting was great."

She was a stroke off the course record of 62 set by Laura Davies in 1991 and matched by Kathryn Marshall in 1997.

Patricia Meunier-Lebouc opened with 64, the best of her LPGA Tour career, and 47-year-old Betsy King was at 66 along with U.S. Solheim Cup player Laura Diaz, Becky Iverson and Jen Hanna.

Morgan hit an 11-wood to 20 feet to set up a birdie on the 18th hole, her ninth of the day, and followed with 6-foot birdie putts on Nos. 1 and 2 to reach 5 under. She hit a pitching wedge to 3 feet on the par-5 fourth for her sixth birdie, and added birdie putts of 4, 15 and 12 feet on Nos. 6-8.

"I just hit the ball really well. I hit a lot of greens," Morgan said. "I gave myself a lot of chances."

BMW OPEN: Bernhard Langer had seven successive birdies for 8-under 64 to take the lead after the first round of the European PGA Tour event in Nord-Eichenried, Germany. Defending champion John Daly shot 70.

MICKELSON OUT: Phil Mickelson will not play in next week's Canadian Open after slightly injuring his back. He felt a twinge in his back while lifting luggage after returning from the NEC Invitational.

BLOOMINGDALE CLASSIC: Kyle Thompson shot 7-under 65 in the opening round of the NGA/Hooters Tour event in Valrico. Tampa's Daniel Debra was at 67.

Play was suspended because of heavy rains and lightning, with 108 players on the course. The round resumes at 8:30 this morning at the Bloomingdale Golfers Club.

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