BELMONT, Mich. (AP) — Sandra Gal made six straight birdies on her back nine Thursday to take the first-round lead in the Meijer LPGA Classic, while Michelle Wie withdrew because of a wrist injury.
Gal, the 29-year-old German who won her lone LPGA Tour title in 2011, birdied Nos. 3-8 and finished with a par on No. 9 for a 6-under 65 at Blythefield Country Club.
"I was in a zone, I was really relaxed," Gal said. "I was talking a lot to my caddie and to my playing partners, just kind of letting it happen instead of forcing it."
Wie was 5 over after nine holes when she pulled out. She fought injuries to both wrists in 2007.
"It just started hurting last week and kept getting worse," Wie said in the parking lot outside the medical trailer. "It got to the point where I really couldn't hold a club today. I'm going to try and get an MRI right now and see what my next steps are. So we'll see."
The U.S. Women's Open winner in June for her second victory of the year, Wie said she hoped to be able to play next week in the LPGA Championship — the fourth major championship of the season.
South Korea's Inbee Park was a stroke behind Gal.
Australia's Katherine Kirk opened with a 67, and Azahara Munoz was another stroke back along with IIhee Lee, Katy Harris, Gerina Piller, Amy Young and Line Vedel.
Second-ranked Lydia Ko, the 17-year-old star coming off a victory in the Marathon Classic in Sylvania, Ohio, matched Paula Creamer with a 69, and top-ranked Stacy Lewis shot 70.
Gal played in the morning wave in the LPGA Tour's first regular tournament in Michigan since the Oldsmobile Classic ended its nine-year run in East Lansing in 2000.
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