Thompson stretches LPGA lead at Kingsmill


WASHINGTON: US star Lexi Thompson fired a bogey-free six-under par 65 to stretch her lead to three strokes after Friday’s (Saturday in Manila) second round of the LPGA Kingsmill Championship.

Thompson stood on 12-under 130 for 36 holes at the 6,430-yard Williamsburg, Virginia, layout with compatriot Gerina Piller second and world number one Lydia Ko of New Zealand sharing third on 134 with Taiwan’s Candie Kung.

Lexi Thompson hits her tee shot on the sixth hole during the second round of the Kingsmill Championship presented by JTBC on the River Course at Kingsmill Resort on Saturday in Williamsburg, Virginia. AFP PHOTO

Fifth-ranked Thompson, one stroke in front of Piller when the day began, charged ahead with a birdie at the par-5 third and added birdies at the par-4 sixth and par-5 seventh, then closed the front nine with another birdie.

She added birdies at the par-4 14th and par-3 17th to pad her lead entering the weekend.

“You know, 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. Probably best I’ve seen it.”

Piller stumbled late to fall back but matched Thompson’s strong start with a birdie at the par-5 third, then three birdies in a row starting at the ninth. She made another at the par-5 15th but bogeys at 16 and 18 sandwiched around a birdie at 17 kept her off the pace.

Ko, trying to fight off rivals and remain atop the rankings, fired a bogey-free 67, opening with a birdie on the par-4 10th, adding back-to-back birdies at the par-5 third and par-4 fourth and another at the par-5 seventh.

“Playing well. Was good to get confidence going into the weekend,” Ko said.

“It was a pretty steady round. The front nine I gave myself a lot of looks for birdies and a lot of them really slipped by. But I feel like I’m putting good strokes on it. That’s all I can do at the end of the day.”

South Korea’s Chun In-Gee and American Vicky Hurst shared fifth on 135 with China’s Feng Shanshan and Americans Angela Stanford and Brittany Lincicome on 136.



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