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    Golf roundup: Keegan Bradley shoots 60 for lead

    Keegan Bradley made a pair of bogeys, yet still came within one stroke of the PGA Tour record of 59.
    tom pennington/getty images
    Keegan Bradley made a pair of bogeys, yet still came within one stroke of the PGA Tour record of 59.

    Keegan Bradley had no thoughts of a course record, or the possibility of a 59, after consecutive bogeys in the middle of his opening round at the Byron Nelson Championship.

    Until his 136-yard wedge shot on his final hole Thursday in Irving, Texas.

    ‘‘It was going right at it. [A 59] crossed my mind for a second, and it would be unbelievable if I buried this,’’ Bradley said. ‘‘But I had 3 feet to shoot 60. I was actually very nervous, uncomfortable over it, and thank God I made it.’’


    Bradley shot 10-under-par 60, completed by that short birdie at the 428-yard ninth hole, to break the TPC Four Seasons course record and match the best round ever at the Nelson. He topped his career PGA Tour best by three strokes and equaled Phil Mickelson’s opening 60 at Phoenix as the best round on the tour this season.

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    After missing the fairways off the tees and making bogeys at Nos. 18 and then No. 1, the latter starting his back nine when he drove into a bunker and had a par putt lip out of the cup, Bradley was at 3 under. He made a 17-foot birdie putt at the 221-yard second hole, and was 7 under his final eight holes with an eagle-birdie-birdie finish.

    ‘‘It was rare to match up a ball-striking day and make everything . . . It happened today,’’ Bradley said. ‘‘The hole looked huge. Even the putts I missed almost went in.’’

    The 60, with 10 birdies and an eagle-3 at the 542-yard seventh, gave Bradley a three-stroke lead over 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel among those who played morning rounds.

    Robert Karlsson, Harris English, and Ted Potter Jr. had 64s in the morning rounds, which came after 1½ inches of rain fell on the course overnight from a storm system that spawned 10 tornadoes and killed at least six people in North Texas. There was no significant damage to the course, where players were able to lift, clean and place golf balls in fairways.


    ‘‘Seems like you don’t get many of those opportunities, so being out here first was a bit of an advantage,’’ said Schwartzel, who hit all 18 greens in regulation. ‘‘So much rain, it softened up. Played long off the tee, but it’s a big advantage going into the greens with the second shot . . . You could attack flags.’’

    Five players have shot 59 in official PGA Tour events. Al Geiberger had the first in the 1977 Memphis Classic, while Paul Goydos and Stuart Appleby had the last three years ago. Ryo Ishikawa had the lowest round on a major tour, shooting a 12-under 58 on the Japan Tour in 2010.

    Defending Nelson champion Jason Dufner shot a 70 in a group with good friends Bradley and Matt Kuchar (69).

    European — Ian Poulter and Nicolas Colsaerts were unexpected losers on the first day of the World Match Play Championship in Kavarna, Bulgaria.

    Poulter was handed a 3-and-2 defeat by Thongchai Jaidee on the Gary Player-designed Thracian Cliffs course.


    ‘‘I got off to a good start with birdies on the first three holes and it was then a combination of a couple of mistakes and handing Thongchai too many holes,’’ Poulter said.

    Poulter will face unseeded Thomas Aitken in his final round robin encounter and will be hoping Jaidee loses to Aitken in the afternoon to advance to the last 16.

    Colsaerts, the defending champion, was never in front against Branden Grace, with the South African winning, 4 and 3.

    Graeme McDowell — the highest ranked player in the field at No. 8 — defeated Chris Wood, 5 and 3.

    LPGA — In Mobile, Ala., Lexi Thompson birdied four of her last five holes for a 7-under 65 and a share of the first-round lead with Eun-Hee Ji in the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic.

    The 18-year-old Thompson, second last year behind Stacy Lewis, had eight birdies and a bogey on The Crossings course at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail’s Magnolia Grove complex.

    Jessica Korda was a stroke back at 66, and Nicole Castrale, Mina Harigae, Dewi Claire Schreefel, Thidapa Suwanapura, Hee Young Park, Jennifer Johnson and Chella Choi shot 67.