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SAN MARTIN, CALIF. (AP) - After a year spent traveling the world, Brooks Koepka suddenly is in a position to play a lot more golf at home.
In his first regular PGA Tour event, Koepka surged to the top of the leaderboard Friday in the Frys.com Open with a 7-under 64, giving him a one-shot lead over Jason Kokrak going into the weekend at CordeValle.
Kokrak, a runner-up at this event last year, hit 6-iron to the par-5 ninth to a foot for eagle and a 65.
Koepka, a 23-year-old Floridian, received a sponsor’s exemption into the PGA Tour season opener between stops in Scotland and Shanghai. He had no status at the start of the year after failing to advance beyond the second stage of Q-school last year. Instead of trying to qualify for Web.com Tour events, Koepka packed his bags and passport for a 15-country journey that has served him well.
He won three times on the Challenge Tour to earn his European Tour card. He played the Dunhill Links in Scotland two weeks ago and in two weeks heads to the BMW Masters in Shanghai.
If he were to win the Frys.com Open, he would have a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour.
Koepka was at 11-under 131. Robert Garrigus (63) and Jim Herman (66) were two shots behind, while Camilo Villegas shot 66 and was another shot behind at 8-under 134.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) _ South Korea’s Ilhee Lee maintained the lead in the LPGA Malaysia, and 18-year-old American Lexi Thompson shot an 8-under 63 to move within one.
Lee had a 65 to reach 13-under 129 at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club. Thompson surged on the back nine with four birdies and an eagle.
China’s Shanshan Feng, coming off a victory Sunday in the Reignwood LPGA Classic in China, was 10 under after a 65. South Korea’s I.K. Kim of South Korea (66) and American Paula Creamer (67) were 9 under.
South Korea’s Amy Yang of South Korea had a tournament-record 62 to reach 8 under.
CARY, N.C. (AP) _ Larry Nelson shot his age for a share of the lead in the SAS Championship, while Nick Faldo failed to finish the round in his first regular Champions Tour event.
The 66-year-old Nelson had a 6-under 66 to join Russ Cochran and Mark Mouland atop the leaderboard at Prestonwood. Faldo was 1 over after 12 holes when he withdrew because of an elbow injury. He tweaked a torn capsule in his left elbow when he made a gesture during a putt on No. 6.
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