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Golf

Birdie run vaults Stenson to 1-shot lead

– Henrik Stenson played as if he couldn’t miss Thursday in the Tour Championship.

Tiger Woods didn’t make a thing.

Stenson ran off five birdies over a six-hole stretch on the front nine at East Lake. His last birdie, a 5-iron from 223 yards to 4 feet on the par-3 18th hole, gave him a 6-under 64 and a one-shot lead over Masters champion Adam Scott.

Scott made six birdies in seven holes for a 29 on the back nine.

“First seven holes is probably as good a proximity to the hotel as I’ve ever had,” Stenson said. “Seven iron shots and made five birdies out of that.”

There were birdies galore on a warm, relatively calm afternoon at East Lake – except for Woods.

Woods missed a short birdie putt on his opening hole that set the tone for the day. He was the only player in the 30-man field to go without a birdie.

It was only the seventh time in his PGA Tour career – and third time at East Lake – that he went an entire round without a birdie. Woods shot a 73, matching his highest opening round of the year on the PGA Tour. He walked past reporters without comment.

Stenson, the No. 2 seed and the hottest player in golf over the last three months, and Scott (No. 3) only have to win the Tour Championship to capture the FedEx Cup and the $10 million prize.

Steve Stricker rallied late with three straight birdies for a 66, tied with Billy Horschel.

EUROPEAN: In Turin, Italy, Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium took a share of the lead in the first round of the Italian Open.

The Ryder Cup standout shot a 65 at the Golf Club Torino to join Ricardo Gonzalez and Maximilian Kieffer at 7 under.

Colsaerts withdrew from last week’s KLM Open with the flu.

Gonzalez missed three cuts in a row since finishing as runner-up at the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles but he was on form with six birdies, one bogey and an eagle. Kieffer had a 25-foot putt for the outright lead at the last hole but had to settle for a par.

USGA: In Kettering, Ohio, Indiana finished 25th out of the 27 teams that made the cut at the USGA’s Women’s State Team Championship.

Fort Wayne’s Michelle Smith had her best day, shooting a 12-over 85 in the final round at NCR Country Club to lead three-person team Indiana to a 25 over and a total of 41 over. Smith’s scores had been tossed out in the first two rounds.

Smith finished the three-day tournament at 43 over, putting her in 78th place individually.

New Jersey won the tournament at 8 over, led by Alice Chen, who tied for first individually with Maryland’s Bryana Nguyen at 6 under. Indiana’s Tobi Herron finished at 19 over. Nina Whalen finished at 28 over.

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