(AP) Down to his last chance to earn a PGA Tour card, Ashley Hall opened the Web.com Tour Championship with his second-best score of the year even though he called a penalty on himself when he noticed his ball slightly move.
The 29-year-old Australian bounced back from that penalty shot to birdie two of his last three holes for a 7-under 63 on the Valley Course at the TPC Sawgrass. That gave him a one-shot lead Thursday over Robert Karlsson of Sweden and Mark Anderson, who already is assured his PGA Tour card.
Karlsson, a former Ryder Cup player, also needs a big week to get back PGA Tour card back.
The Web.com Tour Championship is the last of four tournaments for 25 players to earn PGA Tour cards for the 2013-14 season. The top 25 are decided by a money list from the four tournaments. Players who already finished in the top 25 on the Web.com Tour money list from the regular season are assured a card.
Because of rain all week and still some in the forecast, players competed under preferred lies. Hall placed his ball in the 15th fairway, and after grounding his club, noticed the ball move slightly downward. He called for an official and gave himself a one-shot penalty for his only bogey of the round.
ALFRED DUNHILL LINKS CHAMPIONSHIP
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) England's Oliver Wilson boosted his chances of regaining a European Tour card, shooting an 8-under 64 for a share the first-round lead in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
Playing on a sponsor exemption, Wilson had an eagle and six birdies in windy conditions at Kingsbarns.
England's Tom Lewis also had a 64 at Kingsbarns, and England's Richard McEvoy, Chile's Mark Tullo and France's Alexandre Kaleka matched the score on the Old Course at St. Andrews.
Wales' Jamie Donaldson had the best score at Carnoustie, shooting 65.
The final round will be played at St. Andrews.
USGA SENIOR AMATEUR
CASHIERS, N.C. (AP) Doug Hanzel won the USGA Senior Amateur, beating Pat O'Donnell 3 and 2 in the championship match at Wade Hampton Golf Club.
The 56-year-old Doug Hanzel, from Savannah, Ga., opened a three-hole lead with a par on the par-4 15th and matched O'Donnell's birdie on the par-4 16th to end the match.
A physician specializing in pulmonary critical care at Southeast Medical Group, Hanzel uses an insulin pump to control his diabetes. The 59-year-old O'Donnell, from Happy Valley, Ore., is a reinstated amateur who works as a maintenance analyst for Boeing.
In the morning in the rain-delayed semifinals, Hanzel beat Chip Lutz of Reading, Pa., 3 and 2, and O'Donnell edged Buzz Fly of Memphis, Tenn., 2 and 1.
SENIOR WOMEN'S AMATEUR
SAN MARTIN, Calif. (AP) Ellen Port successfully defended her Senior Women's Amateur title for her sixth U.S. Golf Association victory.
The 52-year-old Port, a high school teacher and coach in St. Louis, beat 50-year-old Susan Cohn of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., 3 and 2 at CordeValle.
Port, the 2014 U.S. Curtis Cup captain, won the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur four times.
Port tied Glenna Collett Vare and Hollis Stacy for fourth place on the USGA's female victory list. JoAnne Carner tops the list with eight, and Carol Semple Thompson and Anne Quast Sander have seven.