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Sports

AFP
May 19, 2017
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Birdie binge puts Thompson on top at Kingsmill

Birdie binge puts Thompson on top at Kingsmill

WASHINGTON: American Lexi Thompson fired a six-under-par 65 Thursday to grab a one-stroke lead after the opening round of the LPGA Kingsmill Championship at Williamsburg, Virginia.

The 22-year-old US star made a run of five birdies in a row on her second nine of the day to stand one stroke ahead of three compatriots -- Gerina Piller, Brittany Lincicome and Angel Yin.

"The second nine was pretty crazy," said Thompson, who arrived on the first tee for Wednesday´s pro-am by parachuting out of an airplane. "I hit some great shots and rolled a few good putts, so (it) definitely helps out my confidence."

South Korean-born New Zealander Lydia Ko, trying to hang onto the world number one ranking, shared fifth on 67 with Australia´s Sarah Jane Smith and Italy´s Giulia Molinaro.

Thompson, who started on the back nine, birdied the par-4 11th and made her lone bogey of the round at the par-3 17th.

She answered with a birdie on the first hole, her second nine of the round, then ran off her birdie binge starting at the par-5 third and ending at the par-5 seventh.
Thompson hit 17 of 18 greens in regulation. She only missed hitting the green on No. 12.

Thompson is playing in her third tournament since losing a playoff in the ANA Inspiration for being penalized four strokes for a rules violation spotted by a person watching the tournament on television.

Ko posted five birdies and one bogey in the opening round.

"Obviously, that´s a really good start to the week," Ko said. "I am just going to try and give myself as many opportunities and I can. I don´t think I was hitting the ball fantastic, so there is a little bit of improvement to do there."

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