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Matthew Now in Solo First in LPGA Event


Scotland's Catriona Matthew fired a 7-under 64 to break a tie with American Angela Stanford and take over first place in the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic. The 72-hole, $1.3 million tournament began Thursday at Grey Silo Golf Course in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

After opening with a 63, the 43-year-old Matthew, whose four wins include a major - the 2009 Women's British Open, posted five birdies and an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole on Friday to reach 15-under 127, three shots ahead of Stanford, who shot a 67. Through 36 holes Matthew has recorded 14 birdies, an eagle and just one dropped shot.

"It feels really good, I've holed a lot of putts but I've given myself a lot of chances," Matthew told reporters. "I wouldn't really say I've holed many super-long ones but just every time I've given myself a chance I'm kind of taking advantage of them."

Sweden's Anna Nordqvist also took advantage of the perfect conditions, carding a 64 to tie for third with American Ryann O'Toole, who shot a 65, Spain's Belen Mozo (66), and South Koreans Chella Choi (65) and Meena Lee (66) at 131.

Tied for eighth at 132 are Norway's Suzann Pettersen (64), American Austin Ernst (64) and South Koreans Hee Young Park and No. 1-ranked Inbee Park (no relation), who both carded 4-under 67s.

In the weeks before the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic, Park won the LPGA Championship, Walmart NW Arkansas Championship and U.S. Women's Open. The 25-year-old from Seoul is seeking to become the first golfer to win four straight LPGA tournaments since Lorena Ochoa in 2008. Nancy Lopez (1978) share the all-time Tour record of five consecutive victories with Sweden's Annika Sorenstam (2004-05).

Park also won the first three majors of 2013, joining Babe Zaharias in 1950 as the only woman to sweep the year's first three majors. Park will vie for her fourth major in a row at next month's Women's British Open.

Tied for 12th at 133 are France's Karen Icher (66) and South Korea's Amy Yang (67). Sharing 14th another stroke back are Americans Jessica Korda (66) and Nicole Hage (67), South Korea's I.K. Kim (66), Germany's Sandra Gal (66), and Paolo Moreno (67) of Colombia.

Michelle Wie moved up the leaderboard with a 67; the Hawaii native is T-24 at 6-under 136.

After opening with a 69, defending champion Brittany Lang shot a 71 and missed the cut of 3-under 139. Also heading home is erstwhile No. 1 Yani Tseng of Taiwan, who posted rounds of 72 and 71.

For all the scores, visit www.lpga.com.