Lexi goes three clear
WILLIAMSBURG: Lexi Thompson extended her lead to three shots on Friday at the LPGA Kingsmill Championship after posting a second straight six-under-par 65.
At 12-under 130 after two rounds, Lexi was halfway to her first win of the 2017 season. Playing partner and fellow American Gerina Piller was alone in second after a 67.
Four shots behind Lexi at 134 were New Zealand’s World No 1 Lydia Ko, who carded a 67, and American Candie Kung, whose 66 in the second round included an eagle on the par-four sixth hole.
Five back were Chung In-Gee (66) of South Korea and Vicky Hurst (67).
Lexi and the rest of the field endured a rain delay, but the long-hitting American was stellar with six birdies and no bogeys while hitting 16 of 18 greens in regulation on the River Course at Kingsmill Resort.
“It’s just a good golf course for me,” she said. “I get to hit a lot of drivers, actually, a lot of 3-woods out here as well. I just love the shape of the golf course. It’s in perfect shape for us once again this year.”
Lexi is playing in her third event since she lost the first major of the year, the ANA Inspiration, in a playoff after a television viewer called in a rules violation and she was assessed a penalty.
“I feel great with where my game is at,” she said.
Gerina, who was in a group that trailed Lexi by one shot after the opening round, had another solid round but alternated birdies and bogeys on the final four holes of the day.
“Made some putts early and just couldn’t get up and down the last couple,” said Gerina, who has never won on the LPGA Tour.
Lydia was in good position after back-to-back 67s. She was bogey-free in the second round as she pursues her first win since July.
“All I need to do is focus on my game and be excited for the weekend,” she said.
Defending champion Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand, who is challenging Lydia for the No 1 ranking, was nine strokes behind the leader after a 67. AFP