SHANGHAI — France’s Alexander Levy had five straight birdies in the middle of his round and finished with a 7-under 65 to take the lead in the BMW Masters on Thursday.

Levy began the birdie run on the par-4 ninth on Lake Malaren’s Masters Course. He won the Volvo China Open in Shenzhen in April for his first European Tour title and took the rain-shortened Portugal Masters this month, becoming the first Frenchman to win two events in a single season on the European Tour.

“My golf game is very good as I was bogey-free in missing only one fairway and I’m still aggressive on the golf course and I like to play this golf, so I need to be thinking this way for the rest of the week,” Levy said. “I just like playing in China and, for me, this golf course is pretty much the same as in Shenzhen where there is a lot of water and you play target golf.”

Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts was a stroke back along with Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo and France’s Romain Wattel. Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell topped the six European Ryder Cup players in the field with a bogey-free 67 that contained three straight birdies from the 11th.

Karlberg leads CIMB Classic by 2 strokes: Sweden’s Rikard Karlberg shot a 7-under 65 for a two-stroke lead after Thursday’s opening round of the CIMB Classic, a joint PGA Tour and Asian Tour event in Malaysia.

Karlberg, who is one of ten Asian Tour players in the 78-man field, birdied his final two holes at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club to lead three players on 67: Americans Billy Hurley III and Brian Stuard, along with Angelo Que of the Philippines.


Inbee Park, Shanshan Feng share Taiwan lead: Top-ranked Inbee Park birdied five of the last seven holes Thursday for an 8-under 64 and a share of the first-round lead in the LPGA Taiwan Championship.

The South Korean star, playing her first round since regaining the No. 1 spot in the world Monday, was tied with China’s Shanshan Feng after her bogey-free round at Miramar.