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Leonard, Perry Lead Players Championship; Triplett 2 Strokes Back

Compiled From Wire Services

With all the big names at The Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., Justin Leonard and Kenny Perry were two unlikely leaders.

This was not supposed to be an event that one of the other guys could win, let alone Leonard, who has never won on tour, or Perry, who quit last week after shooting a first-round 82 at New Orleans.

But after a lightning-interrupted first round at the TPC Stadium Course at Sawgrass, Leonard and Perry were out front at 7-under-par 65, one stroke ahead of Craig Parry and two better than David Frost, Mark Calcavecchia and former Pullman resident Kirk Triplett.

“The hole was looking like a washtub for a while there,” Perry said of his record-tying 30 on the front nine.

Leonard had a 30 of his own on a back nine that featured only 10 putts.

Sixty-nine players were still on the course when lightning stopped play. They will finish this morning.

Steve Elkington shot a 68. Lee Janzen and Nick Price were at 70, Colin Montgomerie and Ernie Els shot 71 and Greg Norman birdied two of the first three holes but stumbled in at 1-over 73.

Seve Ballesteros shot a 41 and withdrew on his 11th hole, citing a sore back.

Annika Sorenstam, who could barely talk, and Tracy Kerdyk, icing down her right hand, matched 5-under 67s to share the first-round lead in the Nabisco Dinah Shore at Rancho Mirage, Calif.

Sorenstam, getting over the flu, had laryngitis. Kerdyk sprained ligaments around the knuckle of her right middle finger when her club stuck in the ground while she was practicing Tuesday.

Tracy Hanson of Rathdrum, Idaho, shot 34-35 and is within two strokes of the lead. Robin Walton of Clarkston shot 76.

The Dinah Shore is the year’s first LPGA major.

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Tags: briefly, golf

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