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Golf: Webb Simpson opens 4-stroke lead

At at 11 under par, Fairfield, Conn., native J.J. Henry sits in a tie for second, four strokes behind Webb Simpson.

Scott Halleran/Getty Images

At at 11 under par, Fairfield, Conn., native J.J. Henry sits in a tie for second, four strokes behind Webb Simpson.

Webb Simpson opened a four-stroke lead Friday in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, taking advantage of perfect scoring conditions at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas.

Making his first start since helping the United States win the Presidents Cup, the 2012 US Open champion shot an 8-under 63 to reach 15 under. He had nine birdies and a bogey.

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‘‘The ball is really going far,’’ Simpson said. ‘‘I was wondering why the scores were so low yesterday morning because I thought the ball might go a little shorter. But the ball was getting out there and the golf course played a little shorter than I thought it would, and I just putted well and kept going.

‘‘There’s no wind, no clouds in the sky and it’s really quiet, so it’s easy to kind of daydream. You've really got to focus on what you’re doing and talk to your caddie, at least for me. I talk to him about what we’re trying to do here, where we’re trying to hit the ball.’’

The four-stroke lead broke the tournament second-round record of three set by Lon Hinkle in 1984 and matched by Rich Fehr in 1996 — both when the event was 90 holes.

J.J. Henry followed his course-record 60 with a 71 to join John Senden, Jeff Overton, Chesson Hadley, and Jason Bohn at 11 under. Bohn had a 64, Senden and Hadley shot 66, and Overton had a 68.

Defending champion Ryan Moore and Russell Knox were 10 under. Moore shot 63, and Knox had a 65.

Argentina’s Andres Romero, second after a first-round 61, shot an 81 and missed the cut.

LPGA — Amy Yang overcame jitters while playing in her home country, shooting a 5-under 67 to finish in a four-way tie for the lead after the first round of the KEB HanaBank Championship in Incheon, South Korea.

With friends and family in the gallery, Yang had six birdies, including five straight beginning at the fourth hole. She was tied with Katherine Hull-Kirk of Australia, South Korean compatriot Ju Young Pak, and Anna Nordqvist of Sweden. Another Swede, Caroline Hedwall, was a stroke behind.

‘‘It’s been a long time since I played in Korea, so I had a lot of family and friends around me,’’ said Yang, whose lone bogey came on the first hole. ‘‘So in the beginning I was a little bit nervous, but later on I had better concentration and focus.’’

Michelle Wie eagled the par-5 18th and was at 69 with six others, including defending champion Suzann Pettersen and Brittany Lang.

Inbee Park, who leads the money list and the player of the year rankings, had bogeys on Nos. 12 and 13 and was at 70.

Since the tournament began in 2002, a South Korean has won seven of the 11 years.

Champions — Bernhard Langer birdied the final hole for a 6-under 64 and a share of the first-round lead with Anders Forsbrand and Dick Mast in the Greater Hickory Classic in Conover, N.C.

Langer and Forsbrand each had seven birdies and a bogey, and Mast had six birdies in a bogey-free round.

Olin Browne and John Riegger were a stroke back.

European — Peter Hedblom shot a 3-under 69 to take a two-stroke lead after two rounds of the Perth International in Australia.

The Swede, who is at 7-under 137, is two strokes ahead of Ross Fisher, who had the lowest round Friday with a 5-under 67.

Hedblom needs a win in Perth to retain his European Tour card. Only the top 110 players on the tour qualify for the Race to Dubai, and Hedblom was 179th heading into the Perth tournament.

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