Lee ties for lead with Salas, Lexi

Rookie Alison Lee of Valencia shot 5-under-par 66 to tie Lizette Salas of Azusa and Lexi Thompson for the lead after two rounds of the Meijer LPGA Classic at Blythefield Country Club in Belmont, Mich.

The 20-year-old Lee, who left the UCLA golf team in the middle of her sophomore season in December, started on No. 10 and made birdies six on her first 10 holes before carding her lone bogey on the sixth hole while playing alongside Salas.

“We kind of pushed each other through the day,” said Lee, who was an All-American and earned the inaugural Annika Award as the best women’s college player in the nation as a freshman. “I was fired up going into the round and wanted to shoot a low number.

“It’s great to have that competition out there. … It’s great to be in contention. I mean, this is my rookie year and I’m still learning.”

Salas, the former USC All-American who claimed her only LPGA Tour victory in the 2014 Kingsmill Championship, followed an opening 64 with a 69.

She made only three birdies, but her card was marred only by a bogey on the third hole.

“The wind definitely kicked in this afternoon and you have to be really precise to your targets,” Salas said. “We have 36 more to go and I’m going to try to be patient and stay calm and just be committed to every shot.”

Thompson, who has four LPGA Tour victories including the 2014 Kraft Nabisco Championship in Mission Hills, birdied six of the first eight holes on her way to a bogey-free 64.

Gerina Piller posted a bogey-free 65 and was one stroke back in a tie for fourth with Q Baek of South Korea, who had a 68, Jaye Marie Green, who totaled 66, Kris Tamulis, who finished at 68, and We-Ling Hsu of Taiwan, who came in at 69.

Top-ranked Inbee Park of South Korea wound up at 68 and was five shots behind in a tie for 18th with 14 others, including Jane Rah of Torrance, who wound up at 72, Cristie Kerr, who had a 65, and Brittany Lincicome, who came in at 68.



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