South African Branden Grace had a 6-under 66 and leads by a stroke after the opening round of the Valero Texas Open on Thursday.

Grace had a season-best 11th-place finish last week in defense of his RBC Heritage title. He leads the 5-under 67s of Steven Alker, Stewart Cink, John Huh and Will MacKenzie at TPC San Antonio. Alker, a journeyman New Zealander who played in the final group of the day, birdied the final three holes.

Watson takes one-stroke lead at Shenzhen: Bubba Watson fired a 6-under 66 in the first round to take a one-stroke lead at the weather-delayed Shenzhen International on Thursday.

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Starting on the 10th hole, Watson bogeyed the 12th but bounced back with birdies on Nos. 13, 14 and 16 to turn in 34. A birdie at the first hole was then followed by an approach shot to 8 feet on the par-5 second, setting up an eagle that sent Watson to the top of the leaderboard.

Woods back to back surgery: Two days after saying his back was progressing, Tiger Woods has had a fourth back surgery to alleviate pain and is likely to go through another year without playing a major.

Woods said on his website Thursday the operation was done at the Texas Back Institute outside Dallas.

Tennis

Murray, Wawrinka out at Monte Carlo: Andy Murray blew a 4-0 lead in the deciding set and lost to Albert Ramos-Vinolas 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 in the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters on Thursday.

Former French Open and Monte Carlo champion Stan Wawrinka followed Murray out after losing to Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay 6-4, 6-4.

Meanwhile, defending champion Rafael Nadal beat Alexander Zverev, spoiling the German’s 20th birthday, 6-1, 6-1, and two-time champion Novak Djokovic overcame a Murray-like wobble before getting past Pablo Carreno Busta 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.

— Associated Press

Running

Marathon master dies in N.J.: Tom Fleming, the New York City Marathon winner in 1973 and 1975 and twice a Boston Marathon runner-up, has died. He was 65.

Fleming died Wednesday of an apparent heart attack while coaching a middle school team at a meet in Verona, New Jersey, the Montclair Kimberley Academy said in a statement Thursday. He was the school’s varsity cross-country and track and field coach and recently taught fourth grade.

Newark Central coach Bruce Berry told NJ.com that Fleming said he felt ill but was still “laughing and joking.” Fleming collapsed after getting out of his car, Berry said. He said Fleming was given CPR for more than 20 minutes and had a pulse when taken to a hospital.

Jamaican olympian dies in crash: Olympic medal-winning track and field athlete Germaine Mason died Thursday in a motorcycle crash outside the capital of his native Jamaica, police in the Caribbean island said.

Mason apparently lost control of his Honda motorcycle before dawn in St. Andrew Parish, the Jamaica Constabulary Force said in a statement. The 34-year-old athlete was taken to a local hospital but did not survive.

Mason was born in Jamaica but represented Britain in the 2008 summer Olympics in Beijing. He won a silver medal in the high jump, with a personal best of 2.34 meters.

— Associated Press

Contact: 609-272-7234 dgrote@pressofac.com

Twitter @danielpgrote

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MorningQuarterback

Contact: 609-272-7234

dgrote@pressofac.com

Twitter @danielpgrote

Facebook.com/Wednesday

MorningQuarterback

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