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    Golf roundup: Ricky Barnes leads after first round of Zurich Classic

    Ricky Barnes birdied six of his last eight holes and opened the Zurich Classic with a 64.
    chris graythen/getty images
    Ricky Barnes birdied six of his last eight holes and opened the Zurich Classic with a 64.

    Ricky Barnes said he still owes his newborn daughter a late birthday present.

    Perhaps a piece of silver would be appropriate.

    Barnes birdied six of the last eight holes Thursday at rain-softened TPC Louisiana in Avondale to take a one-stroke lead at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, which awards a silver cup to the winner.


    Barnes finished the opening round with an eagle, seven birdies, and a bogey for an 8-under-par 64. Boo Weekley and Lucas Glover were a stroke back, and D.A. Points and Morgan Hoffmann both shot 66.

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    ‘‘Today it was nice because it was a pretty stress-free round,’’ said Barnes, who did not arrive in New Orleans until late Wednesday afternoon after the birth of his daughter Monday night. ‘‘I think I only had to chip once in 18 holes, so that’s nice.’’

    Guan Tianlang, the 14-year-old Chinese amateur playing on a sponsor exemption, opened with an even-par 72, highlighted by a 5-wood that he hit to a foot on the par-3 17th.

    ‘‘I think I played pretty good golf,’’ Tianlang said. ‘‘Not the best but I made some ups and downs and a couple birdies.’’

    He tied for 58th in the Masters after becoming the youngest player to make the cut at Augusta National, and said Thursday that he will play in a US Open qualifier in two weeks in Dallas.


    Ernie Els and Rickie Fowler head a group of 10 players at 5 under.

    Defending champion Jason Dufner shot 70, and 2011 winner Bubba Watson had a 73.

    Barnes missed the cuts in seven of his last eight events. He jump-started his round with the eagle on the par-5 second hole, hitting a 3-wood from 294 yards to 12 feet.

    Barnes birdied the par-5 11th, had four consecutive birdies on Nos. 13-16, and finished with a birdie on the par-5 18th. He hit all 14 fairways in regulation and had 26 putts.

    Eighty-four players were at 1 under or better on the rain-softened TPC tract, with 30 players within four shots of the lead. Heavy rains that spawned at least two tornadoes in the New Orleans area Wednesday left TPC’s normally firm greens soft and defenseless.


    LPGA — Tour rookie Caroline Masson shot a bogey-free 7-under 64 to take a two-stroke lead over Carlota Ciganda after the first round of the inaugural North Texas LPGA Shootout in Irving. Inbee Park, the No. 1-ranked player, was in a group at 67.

    While Masson has made only one of five cuts in her first LPGA season, the 23-year-old German played on the Ladies European Tour the last three years and won the 2012 South African Women’s Open. She closed with a curling putt from about 18 feet on the ninth hole, her longest birdie putt of the day.

    Ciganda was the top rookie and top money winner on the European tour last year.

    Taylor Coleman, a 16-year-old high school sophomore from San Antonio, shot 68.

    European — Five players hold the clubhouse lead after shooting 5-under 67s in the incomplete first round of the fog-affected Ballantine’s Championship in Seoul. Jean Baptiste Gonnet, Johan Edfors, Kieran Pratt, Matthew Baldwin, and Kim Gi-wang were leading after fog engulfed the Blackstone course to force a delay of 2 hours 10 minutes. Half the field will complete their first rounds early Friday.

    Former British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen is a stroke back with two holes to play.

    Oosthuizen, who won the 2010 British Open at St. Andrews, topped the leaderboard at 6 under before dropping a stroke on his last two holes.

    Y.E. Yang, the only Asian-born player to win a major, shot a 70.