Lexi Thompson stays steady
Through two rounds in Grand Rapids, Lexi Thompson, who lost in a playoff a week ago, is doing her best to take the sting out of that loss. Thompson sits at 10-under par through two rounds after a 3-under-par 68 Friday, and is just two shots back of the lead held by Brooke Henderson.
The eight-time LPGA Tour winner made a three-putt bogey on No.17 Friday, but bounced back with a birdie to end her day.
“I was upset, don’t get me wrong,” she said of her three-putt. “But I just tried to let it go and birdie the last. Tried to get a good drive, I just pushed it a little bit, but had a great second shot and made the putt.”
Thompson said that, as far as the game plan for Saturday is concerned, she’ll just be following her plan from the first two days, especially because Blythefield Country Club suits her aggressive game.
“I hit driver basically on every hole out here and take aggressive lines,” she said. “I’m just going to focus on doing my routine and being positive tomorrow.”
Carlota Ciganda fires the round of the day
The two-time LPGA Tour winner Carlota Ciganda shot the round of the day Friday, a 7-under-par 64, to climb up the leaderboard into a tie for second.
Ciganda needed only 25 putts Friday and was bogey free. She said she played ‘really solid’ and ‘made really good putts.’
“I like the course, I feel comfortable,” she said.
Ciganda said she’s looking forward to the weekend, as she finished runner-up here in 2016 and knows her way around the course.
“I've been playing good the last few weeks. I'm just excited. It was a good week for me here last year so I have great memories,” she said. “I like the course, I like the greens, and the crowds are always good. I’m very excited.”
Brooke Henderson sets the 36-hole scoring record
Although Brooke Henderson admitted Friday the 2017 season has been ‘rough’ so far, she didn’t let any previous vibes impact her at the Blythefield Country Club through two rounds.
Henderson finished her round with two-straight bogeys, but her 4-under-par 67 – adding to her opening round 8-under-par 63 – has her at 12-under for the championship, and holding a two shot lead going into the weekend.
“This week seems to be a turnaround week and hopefully I can just finish strong the next two days,” she said.
Despite a late double bogey, Moriya Jutanugarn threatens the lead
While all eyes were on sister Ariya this week as she ascended to No. 1 in the world – becoming the first Thai golfer to do so – it was Moriya Jutanugarn who stole the show Friday with a 5-under-par 66.
Moriya was 5-under through 12 holes before making a bogey on No. 13 and a double bogey on No. 15. She did, however, end her day with back-to-back birdies. Through the early part of the afternoon, Moriya was leading the tournament.
She said she played solid Friday morning.
“I rolled the ball good on the green,” she explained. “Everything seems to be good.”
Moriya has finished in the top 10 her last two starts on the LPGA Tour, and has 10 top-20 finishes on the season. She said she’s been feeling great with her game of late and enjoyed a nice week off at home last week, where she did some practicing and cooking.
She said she’ll try to just keep playing her own game and have fun as the weekend rolls on, where she’ll be in contention.
And as far as the reaction for Ariya getting to No.1 in the world, Moriya said it was ‘very big.’
“Even me, I was really excited for her. Of course, she won the tournament (the Manullife LPGA Classic) and then she became No.1, so that was even better,” she explained. “Even for Thai people, it’s become really big and people are really happy for her.”
Stacy Lewis struggles to back up her opening round
Stacy Lewis got off to a sparking start Thursday, firing a 7-under-par 64, however, she couldn’t back that up Friday, making just one birdie and a bogey for an even-par 71. She admitted she was a ‘little mad’ at the start of her round.
“Just a little mad about the way the second shots were going. But I drove it great, which is something positive to come out of the round. I just didn’t really get a whole lot out of the round, from the second shot in,” Lewis explained. “Kind of disappointed, but hopefully I’ll still be pretty close at the end of the day.”
Through most of the afternoon, she remained close to the lead before Brooke Henderson started to pull away. Still, she’ll be only five shots back going into the weekend. She said her round Friday was ‘frustrating.’
“I really hit a lot of good putts and hit a lot of good shots, they just didn't end up as close as yesterday,” she said.
Lewis explained she would be able to shake off her frustration for the weekend ahead because she knows she is playing well.
“I've just got to keep hitting fairways, which is what I did, and the putts will fall,” she said. “I've just got to stay patient.”