Spieth-Palmer tandem shares lead in team event

Jordan Spieth showed off his stellar short game and Ryan Palmer made key putts as they posted a 6-under 66 in foursomes for a share of the lead Thursday in the Zurich Classic, the first team event on the PGA Tour in 36 years.

Spieth hit a bump-and-run from 100 feet to set up a birdie on the par-5 11th, chipped in for birdie on the 14th and closed round with a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th at TPC Louisiana in Avondale.

They were tied with Kyle Stanley and 18-year-old Ryan Ruffels.

Nick Watney made a 60-foot eagle putt from off the 18th green as he and Charley Hoffman were among four teams at 67 in alternate shot.

LPGA: Lexi Thompson shot a 2-under 69 in her first round since a rules violation cost her a likely major victory, leaving her four strokes behind leader M.J. Hur in the North Texas LPGA Shootout in Irving.

Hur had a bogey-free 65 on a blustery, sunny day at Las Colinas Country Club.

EUROPEAN TOUR: Alexander Levy shot a 9-under 63 to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the China Open in Beijing.

The Frenchman, who won the event in 2014, carded nine birdies in a bogey-free round to finish one stroke ahead of Pablo Larrazabal.


PORSCHE GRAND PRIX: Kristina Mladenovic of France upset two-time defending champion Angelique Kerber 6-2, 7-5 to join Maria Sharapova in the quarterfinals in Stuttgart, Germany.

Sharapova advanced earlier by beating fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova 7-5, 6-1 in her second match after a 15-month doping ban.

Sharapova tested positive for meldonium at last year’s Australian open.

BARCELONA OPEN: Defending champion Rafael Nadal defeated Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-4 to reach the quarterfinals, while Andy Murray had his hands full in getting past Feliciano Lopez, 6-4, 6-4.

Nadal converted a break point in each set in his seventh straight clay-court win.

The top-ranked Murray took nearly two hours to close out the 40th-ranked Lopez.


FIFA: French financial prosecutors are investigating the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups and have heard former FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

A person with knowledge of the investigation told The Associated Press that France’s financial prosecutor services opened the investigation on grounds of private corruption, criminal association and influence peddling relating to the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, which were awarded to Russia and Qatar, respectively.

Blatter was questioned in Switzerland last week as a witness, the person said.


GIRLS’ LACROSSE: Laura Hoy and Mackenzie Mallett each had two goals, Teya Adams and Maeve Brin also scored, and Caroline Rizzo made eight saves for Berwick Academy in a 12-6 loss to Pingree School at South Hamilton, Massachusetts.

– News service report