Left want­ing more

Thompson birdies six holes on the front nine to grab share of lead at Mei­jer LPGA Clas­sic

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS -

Lexi Thompson birdied six of the first eight holes and wanted more.

“I wanted to make more birdies on the back nine, but it is what it is,” she said.

Thompson did add one more birdie Fri­day for a sea­son-best 7un­der 64 and a share of the Mei­jer LPGA Clas­sic lead with Ali­son Lee and Lizette Salas.

“I hit it in the rough on a few holes on the back nine where I needed to hit it in the fair­way to be able to make birdies,” Thompson said. “But I’m very happy with my round, don’t get me wrong.”

The 20-year-old Thompson matched Lee and Salas at 9un­der 133 at Blythe­field Coun­try Club.

Lee, the 20-year-old for­mer UCLA player in her first sea­son on the tour, had a 66, and play­ing part­ner Salas, a for­mer Univer­sity of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia star, shot a 69.

Kris Ta­mulis closed with a bo­gey on the par-4 ninth to drop into a tie for fourth at 8 un­der with Ge­rina Piller, Jaye Marie Green, Wei-Ling Hsu and Q Baek. Ta­mulis shot 68, Piller 65, Baek 68, and Green and Hsu 69.

Top-ranked In­bee Park, a play­off loser last year in the inau­gu­ral event, was tied for 18th at 4 un­der af­ter a 68. She has a tourhigh three vic­to­ries this sea­son.

Thompson, win­less since tak­ing the then-Kraft Nabisco last year for her first ma­jor ti­tle, took ad­van­tage of early wind­less scor­ing con­di­tions. Thompson birdied Nos. 1-2, 4-6, 8 and 15.

“The greens were rolling re­ally well out there early in the morn­ing, so it was nice,” Thompson said. “Play­ing in the morn­ing with­out the wind and the greens are a lit­tle bit softer in the morn­ing so it’s eas­ier to just con­trol the way your irons are go­ing to bounce out into the green. It was a lot eas­ier to con­trol than (Thurs­day) af­ter­noon.”

Lee, who is still work­ing on her de­gree at UCLA, said she was inspired by Salas shoot­ing 64 in the first round.

“We kind of pushed each other through the day,” Lee said. “I was fired up to­day go­ing into the round and wanted to shoot a low num­ber. It’s great to be in con­tention. I mean, this is my rookie year and I’m still learn­ing.”

Salas said play­ing in the af­ter­noon in the sec­ond round was a sharp con­trast to the first round.

“The wind def­i­nitely kicked in this af­ter­noon and you have to be re­ally pre­cise to your tar­gets,” she said.

She said she hasn’t been on top of the leader­board in a while, and she is ex­cited.

“We have 36 more to go and I’m go­ing to try to be pa­tient and stay calm and just be com­mit­ted to ev­ery shot,” she said.

Park said be­ing five shots off the lead was fine, but it is more im­por­tant to have good re­sults this week to give her con­fi­dence go­ing into the Women’s Bri­tish Open next week.

“The most im­por­tant thing is just work on my game so it’s ready to go next week,” she said. “You know, make sure that your ball strik­ing, your swing feels good, make sure you’re feel­ing good on the greens. This is the last chance to try it on. I’m try­ing to get my game to the level I want. It’s not quite there, but try­ing to get there.”

AP PHOTO

Lexi Thompson watches her drive on the ninth hole dur­ing the sec­ond round of the Mei­jer LPGA Clas­sic at Blythe­field Coun­try Club in Bel­mont, Mich., Fri­day.

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