On a week when Stacy Lewis said she would donate all of her winnings for the flood relief efforts in her adopted hometown of Houston, Texas, she’s doing the best she can to make sure that the donation is the biggest one she can make – as she’s tied for the lead through two rounds at the Cambia Portland Classic presented by JTBC.
Lewis fired a near-flawless round on Friday, with eight birdies and no bogeys. Her 8-under-par 64 has been the round of the tournament so far.
“The golf course was softer this morning; the greens rolled a lot better; and then my swing felt a lot better. Kind of found something after the round yesterday… obviously felt a lot better out there. Felt like really any hole I could make birdie on,” said Lewis.
Lewis, whose husband is the head women’s golf coach at the University of Houston, said her round Friday was one of the ‘easiest rounds of the year.’ Indeed, it was her second-lowest single round score of the year (she shot a 63 at the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic in January, the first event of the year).
“It was one that I just felt like I could make a lot of birdies,” said Lewis. “Haven't felt that way in a while, so it was really nice. I was hitting the ball good last week, so I was excited about coming here where I have played well before and you have to it hit it good, you have to hit it straight. Just kind of had good memories and good momentum coming into the week.”
Lewis admitted if she won this week it would be ‘up there with a major’ in terms of how special this particular result would be.
“That was the goal to start the week, was to take a big check home,” she explained. “That's still the goal. Now I'm in a good spot to do that.”
In order to that, however, she’ll have to get through some stiff competition including Brooke Henderson – the two-time defending champion in Portland – and In Gee Chun – who is looking for her first win on the season.
Henderson shot her second-straight 5-under-par 67 on Friday and had the lead outright at 11-under thanks to an eagle two on the par-4 11th, but made a bogey on the par-3 16th to fall back into a tie at 10-under with Lewis and Chun.
“It was just a little bit up and down today. I made a lot of birdies and an eagle, which is awesome. Although I made a couple bogeys that I would like to take off the card for the next few days,” said Henderson of her round on Friday. “Overall I feel like I have a solid game plan, and any time I'm in double digits after two days I'm really happy. Just try and continue that trend over the next two days.”
Chun started her day with a bogey but battled back with five birdies sprinkled throughout the rest of her round for a 4-under-par 68. She admitted her concentration was flat when she got her round started, but managed to turn things around quickly.
Chun said she was buoyed by the fan support in Portland.
“I really like this course. Also (the) spectators (are) so kind here,” she said.
A trio of golfers are just two shots back heading into the weekend including Jodi Ewart Shadoff, Ai Miyazato – who is playing in her final LPGA Tour event on U.S. soil prior to retiring, and Moriya Jutanugarn.
Shadoff, who played in the Solheim Cup two weeks ago, admitted she was ‘a little bit tired’ coming into the CP Women’s Open, but managed to get her energy levels back up again for this week.
“I had some rest at the start of the week and feel fresh again,” she said. “Hit some great putts today, so that's good for my confidence going into the weekend.”Another trio is just one shot further back at 7-under heading into the weekend, including Kim Kaufman, Candie Kung, and Nasa Hataoka.
Lexi Thompson was just two shots back of the lead after the first round but shot a 3-over-par 75 to finish at 1-under through two rounds, and make the cut on the number. Her 75 was her second-highest round of 2017. World No. 1 So Yeon Ryu missed just her second cut of the year after bogeying three of her final six holes.
Solheim Cup captain Juli Inkster also missed the cut in her competitive return after helping lead the American team to a successful title defense. She finished at 1-over for two rounds.
The cut was 1-under par.
Thidapa Suwannapura of Thailand and Carlota Ciganda both withdrew prior to the start of their second rounds.