Hot put­ter puts Shon into lead

The London Free Press - - SPORTS -

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Kelly Shon played her last six holes in six-un­der-par for an eight-un­der 64 and a share of the lead with So Yeon Ryu on Thurs­day in the Mei­jer LPGA Clas­sic.

Shon had a seven-un­der 29 on her fi­nal nine at Blythe­field Coun­try Club. The former Prince­ton star played the five par-5 holes in five­un­der, with an ea­gle on No. 8.

“Hon­estly, go­ing into the round, I was think­ing maybe the front nine was kind of go­ing to be the tougher nine,” Shon said. “So I just was pac­ing my­self, try­ing to stay in the mo­ment and hit ev­ery shot the best as I could. I don’t know, the back side, my put­ter started get- ting hot.”

Born in South Korea, the 26- yearold Amer­i­can is win­less in four sea­son son the LPGA Tour. She be­gan the fi­nal-nine run with a birdie on the par-5 first, birdied the par-3 fourth, par-5 fifth and par-7 sev­enth, ea­gled No. 8 and closed with a birdie on the par-4 ninth.

“I haven’t liked this golf course, but to be hon­est, it’s play­ing a lit­tle bit dif­fer­ent than it has in the past,” Shon said. “A cou­ple of the tee boxes have changed and the course it­self. The weather’s just per­fect, which is also some­thing we’re not used to all the time so far this year.”

Ryu birdied four of the par-5s in a bo­gey-free round.

“It’s more about the putting in­stead of score,” Ryu said. “Ob­vi­ously, when you’re putting re­ally well you have a chance for a re­ally low round, but I just re­ally wanted to have like con­fi­dence on the putting green. Like I don’t think I have enough con­fi­dence on the putting green, that’s why I al­ways strug­gle. So from now on, hope­fully, I can get fully confident when I’m putting.”

Anna Nordqvist, Su Oh and Ce­line Herbin shot 66. Sophia Popov, Caro­line Mas­son and Lee-Anne Pace shot 67, and Lexi Thomp­son, the 2015 win­ner, had a 68. Ariya Ju­tanu­garn, mak­ing her first start since win­ning the U.S. Women’s Open, matched de­fend­ing cham­pion Brooke Hen­der­son, Michelle Wie and Ly­dia Ko at 69.

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