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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, June 09, 2018 1:00 am

GOLF

Ex-No. 1 Johnson grabs St. Jude lead

Associated Press

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Dustin Johnson wants to sharpen his game for the U.S. Open. Moving back to No. 1 in the world would just be a nice bonus because the only way he can do that before Shinnecock Hills is by winning the St. Jude Classic.

Johnson knows what he wants.

“I just want to win,” Johnson said.

Johnson shot 7-under 63 for his lowest round this year and grabbed a one-stroke lead Friday after 36 holes at the St. Jude Classic. He had four of his seven birdies and an eagle on his back nine for a 29 and finished with a 10-under 130 total.

Ryan Blaum and Andrew Putnam each shot 64 and were tied second, and C.T. Pan (65) and Wesley Bryan (66) followed at 8 under.

Brandt Snedeker shot his best round this year with a 62 that was one stroke off the course record. He was at 7 under.

Irishman Seamus Power, who came in with a one-stroke lead, shot a 69 to reach 6 under. Defending U.S. Open champ Brooks Koepka (69) was at 5 under, and Phil Mickelson (70) was at 4 under.

Two-time defending champ Daniel Berger (71-141) missed the cut.

CHAMPIONS: In Des Moines, Iowa, Bernhard Langer returned for a three-week break to shoot an 8-under 64 and take the first-round lead in the Principal Charity Classic.

Langer closed the bogey-free round with a 12-foot birdie putt on the par-4 18th at Wakonda Club. The 60-year-old German star took the brief break in part to attend his son's high school graduation.

Glen Day and Woody Austin were a stroke back, and defending champion Brandt Jobe was at 66 with Jerry Kelly, Tom Lehman and Doug Garwood.

LPGA: In Galloway, New Jersey, two-time champion Anna Nordqvist shot a 5-under 66 for a share of the first-round lead with Laura Diaz and Celine Herbin in the ShopRite LPGA Classic.

Nordqvist won the 54-hole event in 2015 and 2016 on Stockton Seaview's Bay Course and finished second last year. Teeing off Friday in the afternoon when the wind was stronger, the 30-year-old Swede closed her bogey-free round with a birdie on the par-5 ninth.

Diaz, 43, who made the field as an alternate, played in the morning when the greens were smoother and the wind more benign..

Lydia Ko, In-Gee Chun and ANA Inspiration winner Pernilla Lindberg were at 67 with Sandra Gal, Su Oh, Beatriz Recari, Amy Yang and Wayne, New Jersey native Marina Alex. Defending champion I.K. Kim had a 68.

Leona Maguire, the former Duke star from Ireland, had a 69 in pro debut.

CURTIS CUP: In Scarsdale, New York, Lilia Vu and Kristen Gillman led the United States to a 4-2 lead over Britain and Ireland in the Curtis Cup, which features top female amateurs, at Quaker Ridge.

Vu and Gillman beat Alice Hewson and Lily May Humphreys 4 and 3 in the morning four-ball matches, then joined other partners in the afternoon foursomes for two more victories. Vu and Jennifer Kupcho edged Hewson and India Clyburn 2 up; and Gillman and Lauren Stephenson beat Paula Grant and Humphreys 4 and 2.

Olivia Mehaffey and Sophie Lamb earned 11/2 points for Britain and Ireland. They halved with Kupcho and 15-year-old Lucy Li in the morning, and beat Mariel Galdiano and Andrea Lee 3 and 2.

The U.S. leads the series 28-8-3. It is trying to regain the cup after falling 111/2-81/2 in 2016 at Dun Laoghaire in Ireland.