SOUTHPORT, England -- Ayako Uehara of Japan felt confident with the putter and played in the best weather Royal Birkdale has to offer. It was the right combination to take the lead Thursday in the Womens British Open. And the best she could manage was a 4-under 68. Pot bunkers can present problems on any links course. Throw in some thick grass and par becomes a problem. Michelle Wie could attest to that. The U.S. Womens Open champion spent too much time chipping out of sand and rough on her way to a 75. Cristie Kerr didnt make a birdie, shot 81 and withdrew with a sore back. Only nine players broke par, all but two of them in the relative calm of a sunny morning along the Irish Sea. "Its only going to get harder," defending champion Stacy Lewis said after a 71. "Anything under par on this golf course is a good score." Uehara got her lone mistake out of the way early and made another bogey after the opening hole. She made three birdies in a four-hole stretch, added two birdies on the back nine and built a one-shot lead over Mo Martin. "Ayako obviously put up a really good number," said Lewis, who played in her group. "She seems like she wasnt in trouble at all. She was just greens, greens, centre of the green. You can kind of learn a little bit from that and maybe not go at so many pins." Morgan Pressel scrambled her way to a 70, joined by Sarah Kemp and Mina Harigae. The only players who broke par in the afternoon were former U.S. Womens Open champion So Yeon Ryu and Amy Yang, who played in the final group at the U.S. Womens Open last month. Both shot 71. "I dont think they can make it any easier," Pressel said. That doesnt bode well for Wie, who was introduced on the first tee as the U.S Womens Open champion and then posted her highest score of the year. Wie had to birdie the par-5 18th hole -- the only time she hit driver -- to finish 3 over. "Thought I made a good game plan," Wie said. "Just didnt hit good shots today." Alena Sharp of Hamilton, Ont., had a 2-over 74. The scores Thursday might have been a preview of what the men can expect next week at Royal Liverpool for The Open Championship, through Royal Birkdale is a stronger test. The links courses are separated by about 25 miles, and a wet spring has allowed the grass to get thick and lush. That makes it difficult to make contact with the golf ball, assuming it can be found. Tiger Woods won at Liverpool in 2006 on a fast course with wispy grass. "The golf course is so hard, I couldnt imagine four days of this much rough and all the wind and everything it entails," Lewis said "Its nice to have it pretty calm today." Pressel had 23 putts, though only four of them were for birdie. She escaped with par when she found trouble off the tee and one time salvaged bogey. Playing her third shot from the right rough to a pin on the right side of the tough 16th green protected by a pot bunker, Pressel played short of the green and got up-and-down to limit the damage. Her putter made all the difference. "I was happy that I made it look easier than it actually was," Pressel said. It wasnt like that for everyone. Paula Creamer was 5-over par after five holes and rallied for a 75. The best comeback belonged to Jessica Korda, who went out in 39 and then made four birdies on the back nine to return to even par. Karrie Webb, Inbee Park, Suzann Pettersen and Kraft Nabisco champion Lexi Thompson also were at even par. The way it looked Thursday, anyone around par might be in good shape when it ends on Sunday. Wie now has to climb back on a course that makes it feel as though she has to scale a mountain. She tried to rely on her powerful stinger off the tee, using mostly hybrids, to stay short of the bunkers and out of the rough. But she hit only seven fairways, leading to three of her bogeys. "I definitely felt like my tempo was a little bit off," Wie said. "But its a long way until Sunday, and I battled out there. Its not the score I was looking forward to on Thursday, but it could have been a lot worse." Martin had a plan for Birkdale, too. She is one of the shorter hitters on the LPGA Tour and cant recall a round where she hit so many 3-woods off the tee, all in an effort to stay out of trouble. "Every hole, every shot is its own test," Martin said. "You just really have to have so much strategy. It keeps you in the moment and its a challenge. Its a fun challenge." Air Max 270 Wholesale Uk
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. The Blueshirts hope to stay alive once again when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins in Sundays Game 6 battle at Madison Square Garden.SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Kobe Bryant will make his long-awaited return from a torn left Achilles tendon when the Los Angeles Lakers host the Toronto Raptors on Sunday night. In a dramatic video posted on his Facebook page before the Lakers played at Sacramento on Friday night, Bryant set his much-anticipated comeback date. The video, which was also uploaded to the teams Facebook page, was titled: "Seasons of Legend. Lakers announce Kobes return." The video shows Bryants No. 24 jersey flapping in the wind. There is rain, sleet, snow and lightning for nearly 2 minutes. At one point, his jersey tears. Sunshine breaks through the clouds, and the video fades to black. Finally, words flash across the screen that read, "The Legend Continues...December 8." "Thats something special right there," Lakers teammate Nick Young quipped when a reporter showed him the video on his smartphone in the locker room. How effective Bryant will be against top-tier competition is the last lingering question in his return. Lakers coach Mike DAntoni said Bryant will likely be eased back into the lineup, though he declined to discuss how many minutes he will play in his first game. Asked what his expectations are for Bryant this season, DAntoni said, "That hell be a dominant player." "He can play any way," DAntoni said. "He can play below the rim, above the rim, the side of the rim. The guy can play any way. Hell figure out how hell be effective and hell come at you with everything hes got." Bryant did not travel with the team to Sacramento. The 15-time All-Star hasnt played since he was injured April 12 in a home win over the Goldden State Warriors.dddddddddddd. He had surgery the following morning and was projected to take six to nine months to recover. Bryants return has seemed imminent since he began practicing last month. The 35-year-old guard has said that he could adjust his game and contribute something to the Lakers even if hes not fully healthy when he finally steps on the court for his 18th NBA season. His teammates expect the same. "Hes the biggest competitor that there is. Happy to have him back," guard Jodie Meeks said. "Hes looked great. Obviously he has to get his timing back and his legs, but I know hes probably been training pretty hard. I dont think it will take him long at all." Los Angeles signed the fourth-leading scoring in NBA history to a two-year contract extension last week. Bryants new deal is reportedly worth $48.5 million and takes him into his 20th season with the Lakers. Bryant hasnt given up hope of adding a sixth championship ring to his trophy case, even while the Lakers struggle to keep up with the NBAs best teams. Los Angeles entered Friday nights game with a 9-9 record. Thats still slightly better than most Lakers fans expected this season after the departures of Dwight Howard and Metta World Peace coupled with the injuries to Bryant and 39-year-old point guard Steve Nash, who could return next week from the nerve root irritation in his back. "Weve developed some guys that are really going to contribute a lot, and it might not have happened if (Bryant) was here," DAntoni said. "You have to look at the bright side of it. Now we just have to get him back to the level that hes capable of playing." China NFL Jerseys Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys NFL Jerseys Cheap Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap Basketball Jerseys Online Stitched Hockey Jerseys Wholesale Baseball Jerseys Football Jerseys Outlet College Jerseys For Sale Cheap MLB Jerseys Wholesale Soccer Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys For Sale Wholesale NFL Jerseys
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