Paula Creamer easily overcame tricky morning wind conditions in Carlsbad, Calif., for a share of the first-round lead in the Kia Classic with Mariajo Uribe. Creamer and Uribe shot 5-under 67 at Aviara to finish a stroke ahead of Cristie Kerr, Shanshan Feng, Jodi Ewart Shaddoff and Mi Hyang Lee.
A playoff winner March 2 in Singapore, Creamer had six birdies and bogeyed the par-4 15th — her sixth hole of the day — after her approach plugged in the face of a bunker. In Singapore, she made a breaking, downhill 75-foot eagle putt on the second extra hole to beat Azahara Munoz. The victory ended a 79-event drought dating to the 2010 U.S. Women’s Open.
Uribe, from Colombia, birdied Nos. 2-5 and 11 in her bogey-free afternoon round.
Miguel Angel Jimenez and fellow Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal beat Asia captain Thongchai Jaidee and Kiradech Aphibarnrat 2 and 1 in Malaysia to set Europe on course for a commanding 5-0 lead on the opening day of the first EurAsia Cup.
In other fourballs competition, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Stephen Gallacher beat India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar and Anirban Lahiri 4 and 3 before Victor Dubuison and Joost Luiten, who came close to hitting an albatross at the 11th, made it 3-0 in by defeating Prayad Marksaeng and Siddikur Rahan 3 and 2.
Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn and Thorbjorn Olesen had a 2-up win over the Japanese pair of Koumei Oda and Hideto Tanihara and Europe completed a clean sweep when Graeme McDowell and Jamie Donaldson recovered from being 3-down to beat Kim Hyung-sung and Nicholas Fung of South Korea 3 and 1.
The EurAsia Cup format is similar to the Ryder Cup, with the teams playing foursomes, or alternate shot, today and concluding with singles on Saturday.
Europe captain Jimenez said he’ll proceed with the same European pairings on Friday.