WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — Webb Simpson ran out of sensational shots in the end to keep him from joining an elite group.

Simpson shot a 9-under-par 61 for a one-stroke lead over Whee Kim after the first round of A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier in West Virginia on Thursday.

Simpson posted his best career score after shaking off a two-hour weather delay with six holes left in his round. He came up short in his bid to shoot the eighth sub-60 round on the PGA Tour. Needing birdies on the par-5 17th and the par-3 18th for a 59, he parred both.

“I knew a 59 was in there, but it’s all right,” Simpson said. “Great start. Scores were good though, so you’ve got to keep the pedal down.”

Kim had back-to-back bogeys on the front nine on the Old White TPC, and then ran off five birdies over a seven-hole stretch. Kim had 10 birdies overall and shot 62. Teenager Joaquin Niemann of Chile was another stroke back at 7-under 63.

Kelly Kraft shot 64 and Jason Kokrak, Keegan Bradley and J.J. Henry were at 65.

Playing in the afternoon, Simpson had three consecutive birdies around the turn, then chipped in for eagle on the par-5 12th to move to 7 under. A few minutes later, the horn sounded stopping play just as he was hitting his tee shot on the par-4 13th. The shot landed on a hillside.

After play resumed, Simpson’s pitch from the hill went across the 13th fairway into tall fescue. His approach shot landed 3 feet from the pin and he escaped with par. He added birdies on the par-4 14th and 16th holes.

LPGA: Defending champion Katherine Kirk shot a 10-under-par 62 to take the first-round lead at the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic in Oneida, Wisconsin.

Kirk wasted no time in picking up from where she left off last year. Starting on the back nine, Kirk opened with three consecutive birdies and ended her day with a perfect wedge into the par-5 ninth for a tap-in birdie.

EUROPEAN TOUR: Defending champion Jon Rahm made back-to-back double bogeys around the turn in shooting a 2-over 74 in the opening round of the Irish Open, leaving him seven shots behind leader Ryan Fox.