Top-ranked Lydia Ko shot a 3-under 69 on Wednesday in the Coates Golf Championship in her first round of the season, leaving her four strokes behind leader Ha Na Jang.
The 18-year-old Ko closed with a birdie on the par-5 18th, her fourth birdie on the back nine on the Golden Ocala course that features some tributes to holes at Augusta National, St. Andrews and others.
Ko tied for second last year in Ocala to reach No. 1 in the world ranking, and went on to win five times and take the Race to the CME Globe and LPGA Tour's points-based player of the year award.
Jang also birdied the 18th for a bogey-free 65 and a three-stroke lead over six players. Winless on the LPGA Tour, the 23-year-old South Korean player also tied for second last year behind Na Yeon Choi.
Federer has knee surgery
Roger Federer tore his meniscus and underwent surgery, an injury that will keep him out of the upcoming tournaments in Rotterdam and Dubai.
A statement on Federer's website Wednesday said he sustained the injury Saturday, the day after losing the Australian Open semifinals against later champion Novak Djokovic.
Federer, 34, withdrew from next week's tournament in Rotterdam, and the Feb. 22-27 event in Dubai where he is the titleholder.
The next scheduled event for the record 17-times Grand Slam winner is the Indian Wells Masters starting March 7.
… Juan Martin del Potro said he will make a comeback from his latest injury this month at the Delray Beach Open. The former U.S. Open champion played only two tournaments last year before having surgery on his left wrist in June. In addition to the 2009 U.S. Open, he has won 18 tour titles.
Schroeder wins Beargrease
Nathan Schroeder captured his fourth John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon title with a predawn surge over the finish line near Duluth on Wednesday.
The musher from Warba and his dogs arrived at Billy's Bar in Rice Lake just before 6 a.m. to win the 32nd running of the sled race.
WDIO-TV said Schroeder picked up speed as he neared Billy's, widening his lead in the final 15 miles of the 383-mile race. Jason Campeau was about a-half hour behind and took second place. Defending champion Ryan Anderson rolled in third.
The marathon along Lake Superior's north shore started Jan. 31 near Two Harbors. The marathon is named for John Beargrease, an Ojibwe Indian from Beaver Bay who delivered mail along the North Shore from 1879 to 1899 by dog sled.
around the horn
Baseball: The Mariners signed Korean slugger Dae-Ho Lee to a minor league contract two weeks before the start of spring training. Lee, a first baseman, spent the past four seasons playing in Japan with the Orix Buffaloes and Fukuoka Softbank Hawks. Last season, Lee hit .282 with 31 homers and 98 RBI in 141 games.
WNBA: Restricted free agent guard Tiffany Hayes re-signed a multiyear deal with Atlanta. She was second on the Dream with her average of 12.9 points per game in 2015. … Second-year forward-center Elizabeth Williams was traded from Connecticut to Atlanta for the No. 4 pick in the 2016 draft.
Soccer: American midfielder Stuart Holden is retiring, unable to recover from knee injuries that have sidelined him for most of the past four years. The 30-year-old Holden had three goals in 25 appearances for the U.S. national team and scored against Japan in the Americans' opener at the 2008 Olympics.
Media: Sports Illustrated is turning the unveiling of its 2016 top swimsuit model into a television special. TNT will air a special on Feb. 13 that builds up to the reveal of which model appears on the cover of its annual swimsuit edition.