- Associated Press - Thursday, October 27, 2016

SHANGHAI (AP) - Rikard Karlberg made his World Golf Championships debut with an 8-under 64 on Thursday to take a one-shot lead over Rickie Fowler in the HSBC Champions.

Karlberg has only faced a field this strong twice before in the British Open, both times missing the cut. He wanted to treat this like any other event, and on a soggy Sheshan International course, he made it look easy.

Karlberg was 9 under through 16 holes and challenging the course record when he came up short on the par-3 17th, nearly in a hazard, and managed to save par. He wasn’t so fortunate on the par-5 closing hole after driving into a bunker. He caught too much sand, couldn’t reach the green with his third and took his only bogey.

Fowler, in his first competitive round since the Ryder Cup, holed a 15-foot birdie putt on his final hole for a 65 that had him thinking about an HSBC sweep. He won the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship in January, so far his only victory this year.

Fowler was particularly efficient on the par 5s, reaching two of them in two shots for eagle chances and leaving a simple up-and-down on the 14th hole for another birdie. He also chipped in from just off the green on the 17th.

Defending champion Russell Lnox, Daniel Berger and Hideki Matsuyama were at 66.

Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson never got anything going. McIlroy had a 71, while Johnson struggled to hit fairways and made only one birdie in a 74.

SIME DARBY LPGA MALAYSIA

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - Amy Yang took the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia lead, and Michelle Wie had her best score in more than a year. Lydia Ko had to fight to get back to even par in her first event since firing her caddie.

Yang shot an 8-under 63 - one off her own course record - in hot and humid conditions for a two-stroke lead over American Marina Alex. The 27-year-old South Korean player birdied all four par-3 holes at TPC Kuala Lumpur.

Wie opened with a 66, breaking 70 for only the fourth time in 68 rounds this year. Winless in 57 tournaments since the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open, she’s coming off a season-best 10th-place tie last week in China in the Blue Bay LPGA.

The top-ranked Ko birdied the par-5 18th for a 71. The 19-year-old New Zealander fired Jason Hamilton, the Australian who caddied for her since late 2014, and is using Malaysia’s Sargunan Suntharaj this week. Hamilton shifted to Ha Na Jang and helped the South Korean player open with a 69.

China’s Shanshan Feng, the 2014 winner, was at 66 along with Wie, Norway’s Suzann Pettersen, American Mo Martin, Spain’s Azahara Munoz and South Korea’s Jenny Shin.

The women are playing TPC Kuala Lumpur’s East Course, a week after Justin Thomas successfully defended his title on the West Course in the PGA Tour’s CIMB Classic.

SANDERSON FARMS CHAMPIONSHIP

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Kevin Streelman shot a 9-under 63 in nearly ideal conditions to take the first-round lead in the Sanderson Farms Championship.

The 37-year-old Streelman had 10 birdies, including eight in an 11-hole stretch, at Jackson Country Club.

Trey Mullinax, Seamus Power and Carl Pettersson were tied for second at 65. Seven others, including Lucas Glover and Camilo Villegas, were three back of the lead.

Streelman is a two-time PGA Tour winner, with his last victory in 2014 at the Travelers Championship. He missed the cut two weeks ago in the season-opening Safeway Open.

Defending champion Peter Malnati shot a 71.


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