Matthew opened her round with four-straight pars but got things going on the par 5 5th hole. The 19-year LPGA Tour veteran sank a 25-foot eagle putt and followed it up with a birdie on No. 6 and 8 to move to 12-under before the turn.
“I played really well again, you know, gave myself a lot of chances,” said Matthew. “Good chances at 1, 3 and 4 that I missed by 10 feet and holed a good eagle putt on 5. I mean, it feels really good. I've holed a lot of putts. I've given myself a lot of chances, so I wouldn't say I've really holed many super long ones, but every time I give myself a chance, I'm kind of taking advantage of it.”
Matthew would go on to pick up two more birdies on Nos. 11 and 16 before closing out with a four-foot birdie putt on the 18th to move to 15-under par. She missed only one fairway and one green in regulation on Friday and said she felt her work on the greens was her strength of her round.
“I don't know. I mean, I would say first time here, obviously suits my eye a little bit, maybe just got the speed of the greens,” said Matthew. “I think that's the important thing. When you're holing putts, it all seems quite easy.”
American Angela Stanford trails Matthew by three shots and said her ball striking stood out to her in her round. She finished with a 4-under 67 that included five birdies and one bogey.
“Ball striking for sure, giving myself some chances,” said Stanford. “And actually the putts have finally found the bottom of the hole. But I think just my confidence comes from how I hit the ball, and I've been hitting it really well this week and I know what's going on in my golf swing and swing thoughts are good. So any time I'm feeling this way, I can't wait to try to make the putts.”
A group of five players are in a tie for third at 11-under par including two-time LPGA winner Anna Nordqvist, 2011 U.S. Solheim Cup team member Ryann O’Toole, Spaniard Belen Mozo and South Koreans Meena Lee and Chella Choi.
Topics: Manulife Financial LPGA Classic