Lexi savours birdie binge

New Straits Times - - Sport -

WASH­ING­TON: Amer­i­can Lexi Thomp­son fired a six-un­der-par 65 on Thurs­day to grab a on­e­stroke lead after the open­ing round of the LPGA Kingsmill Cham­pi­onship at Wil­liams­burg, Vir­ginia.

The 22-year-old US star made a run of five birdies in a row on her sec­ond nine of the day to stand one stroke ahead of three com­pa­tri­ots — Ge­rina Piller, Brit­tany Lin­ci­come and An­gel Yin.

“The sec­ond nine was pretty crazy,” said Lexi, who ar­rived on the first tee for Wed­nes­day’s proam by parachut­ing out of an air­plane.

“I hit some great shots and rolled a few good putts, so (it) def­i­nitely helps out my con­fi­dence.”

South Korean-born New Zealan­der Ly­dia Ko, try­ing to hang onto the world num­ber one rank­ing, shared fifth on 67 with Aus­tralia’s Sarah Jane Smith and Italy’s Gi­u­lia Moli­naro.

Lexi, who started on the back nine, birdied the par-four 11th and made her lone bo­gey of the round at the par-three 17th.

She an­swered with a birdie on the first hole, her sec­ond nine of the round, then ran off her birdie binge start­ing at the par-five third and end­ing at the par-five sev­enth.

Lexi hit 17 of 18 greens in reg­u­la­tion. She only missed hit­ting the green on No 12.

Lexi is play­ing in her third tour­na­ment since los­ing a play­off in the ANA In­spi­ra­tion for be­ing pe­nalised four strokes for a rules vi­o­la­tion spotted by a per­son watch­ing the tour­na­ment on tele­vi­sion.

Ly­dia posted five birdies and one bo­gey in the open­ing round.

“Ob­vi­ously, that’s a re­ally good start to the week,” Ly­dia said. “I am just go­ing to try and give my­self as many op­por­tu­ni­ties and I can. I don’t think I was hit­ting the ball fan­tas­tic, so there is a lit­tle bit of im­prove­ment to do there.” AFP

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