PRATTVILLE, Alabama — Defending champion Lexi Thompson shot 3-under 69 on Friday to take a one-stroke lead into weekend play in the Navistar LPGA Classic.
The 17-year-old Thompson had 12-under 132 total on the links-style Senator course at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail’s Capitol Hill complex. She matched the tournament record Thursday with a career-best 63.
“I played pretty consistent today,” Thompson said. “I hit a few squirrely iron shots that I wasn’t happy with, but overall I played consistent. My putting has gotten a lot better.
“It’s all about confidence really and just getting up to it and saying to yourself, you’re going to make the putt. That’s all I’m doing really, just
getting a line and commit to it.”
Last year, Thompson became the youngest champion in LPGA Tour history at age 16, winning by five strokes. Fifteen-year-old amateur Lydia Ko broke the record last month in the Canadian Women’s Open.
Mindy Kim and Mi Jung Hur were a stroke back. They each shot 65.
Kim and Hur also missed late chances to tie Thompson. Hur missed a 3-foot birdie putt on the par-5 eighth, their 17th hole of the day, and Kim missed a 6-footer on the par-4 ninth.
Kim started the day with five consecutive birdies and had eight overall, along with a bogey.
“My putter was really hot today, right off the get-go,” Kim said. “I’m just really excited to be in this position. I haven’t been in this position for a while, so hopefully I can play some good golf on the weekend.”
Dori Carter was two strokes back at 10 under along with Hee Young Park and Lizette Salas. Carter had 67, and Park and Salas shot 69.
“It wasn’t the best ball-striking day for me, but I saved pars when I needed to and I just rolled in a couple birdies,” Salas said. “Bogey-free round. I just kept steady, didn’t force anything.”
Top-ranked Yani Tseng was 3 under after 70. Michelle Wie missed the cut by a stroke, shooting 73 to finish at even par.
Web.com Tour: In Midland, Texas, Morgan Hoffman shot 8-under-par 64 to take over the lead in the WNB Golf Classic.
Hoffman, who is at 12-under 132, has a three-shot advantage over first-round leader Jamie Lovemark (69 on Friday) and Danny Lee (63).
Aiken native Matt Hendrix shot 70 and is at 140. Augusta’s Scott Parel had 69 and is at 142.