Sunday, January 25, 2009

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AP) — Catriona Matthew, the 39-year-old Scot five months pregnant with her second child, shot a 3-under 69 on Saturday to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the HSBC LPGA Brazil Cup exhibition tournament.

"I'm feeling fine actually," Matthew said. "I get a little tired toward the end, but it's not really affecting me just yet."

In early rainy conditions, Matthew birdied four of the first six holes at Itanhanga Golf Club. She hit sand wedges to 10 feet on No. 1 and a foot on Nos. 3-5, and got to 4 under 5-iron to 10 feet on the par-3 sixth. She dropped strokes on the next two holes, but got back to 3 under with a rescue club to 4 feet on the par-3 10th.

Kristy McPherson birdied the final two holes for a 71, and Brazil's Angela Park opened the 36-hole, 15-player event with a 72. Brazil's Candy Hanneman was five strokes back at 74 along with Allison Fouch.

"I would have liked to play better," Park said. "I was hoping for something under par to put myself in better position, but I didn't really play bad at all. Tomorrow is going to be a great, fun day."

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