Lexi, Pak tied for lead

Lexi Thompson fired a bogey-free 8-under-par 64 to tie Se Ri Pak of South Korea for the 36-hole lead in the Kraft Nabisco Championship on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage.

The 19-year-old Thompson, who has won three times on the LPGA Tour and is bidding for her first major title, bounced back from an opening 73 by recording three birdies on the back nine after starting at No. 10 and added five birdies on the front.

“I was just trying to stay in the moment and … not think about what I was shooting,” said Thompson, always a solid ball-striker who has made changes in her putting and needed only 25 putts in her round.

“In the last six months I went through quite a dramatic change. I had moved really close to the ball . . . Even as a little kid I stood far away from the ball and took the putter inside, so I just went right back to that.

“As long as you’re hitting it well and you get those looks (at the hole), you just have to tell yourself that they’ll fall eventually and just go out with a confident attitude.”

Pak, 36, a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame who has five major titles and will complete the Career Grand Slam by winning the Kraft Nabisco, followed her opening 67 with a bogey-free 70 that included a birdie on the 18th hole to tie for the lead.

Michelle Wie, who opened with a 67, came back with a 71 and was one shot back in solo third.

Cristie Kerr, a two-time major winner trying to capture the Kraft Nabisco for the first time, shot 70 and was two strokes back in a tie for fourth with first-round leader Shanshan Feng of China, who struggled to a 73 after opening with a 66.

Catriona Matthew of Scotland, whose only major title among three LPGA Tour victories came in the 2009 Women’s British Open, recorded a 68 and was three shots back in a tie for sixth with Anna Nordqvist of Sweden, who had a 69, and Morgan Pressel, the 2007 Kraft Nabisco champion, who came in at 70.

Defending champion Inbee Park of South Korea, No. 1 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings, bounced back from an opening 74 with a 70 and was tied for 28th, seven strokes off the pace.

Related Articles

Stay Connected


Latest Articles