Prattville – On Friday, 14-year-old amateur Alexis Thompson held her own among the seasoned pros at the Navistar LPGA Classic.
Thompson traveled to Prattville on a whim attempting to quality for the tournament, and so far she has not only played remarkably well, but is also fulfilling her goal of shooting under par each day.
After round two, Thompson is tied in the first place spot with Yani Tseng, Laura Davies, Giulia Sergas, and Lorena Ochoa. The ninth grader believes that she may be able to stay with the pack in the top position.
“I think I hit my driver a lot better today,” Thompson said. “If my ball striking is good for the next two days, I definitely think I can compete and just stay up there at the top.”
With a tournament record bogey-free 9-under-par 63, Yani Tseng of Taiwan became the fifth player to hit such a mark in the three-year history of the Navistar LPGA Classic. But, Tseng wasn’t even thinking of the record during play on Friday.
“I just played one shot at a time, even though I had 8 birdies,” said Tseng. “I just played really good today and made a lot of putts. I still miss, but happy I shot 9-under and am back in this position.”
Tseng, the 2009 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year, is in a five-way tie for the lead at the halfway mark of the event at 10-under-par 134 along with 20-time LPGA Tour winner Laura Davies, whose 7-under mark was her season best by three strokes.
As a veteran, Davies shared her thoughts about facing a ninth grader in the tournament.
“We’re all playing the same game. Age is pretty meaningless when it comes down to it. So, it’s lovely to see a young girl like that playing so well.”
Rolex Rankings’ number one Lorena Ochoa was the first player to hit the 10-under-par mark.
Giulia Sergas of Italy shot a 7-under-par thanks to a hot putter. She said that a lot of practice is the key to good putting.
“Putting is … you work on it, you work on it, because you are looking for something,” Sergas said. “You’re working on a feel that you have to get. When you get that feel, you are ready to go.”
The 2009 CVS/Pharmacy LPGA Challenge champion Sophie Gustafson of Sweden is continuing her strong play through to the Navistar. She owns the 6th spot, just one stroke back from the leaders at 9-under-par 135.
LPGA Tour rookie Michelle Wie has an 8-under-par performance and is in a five-way tie for 7th place through two rounds with Brittany Lang, Hye Jung Choi, Inbee Park, and Janice Moodie (first round leader).
Becky Iverson, US Solheim Cup Team Member in 2000, was disqualified after the first round due to a violation of Rule 6-6d (wrong score for hole). Angela Park, Marcy Hart, and Jee Young Lee withdrew mid-way through the second round.
There were 6,800 fans during Friday’s “Passionately Pink” second round. That tally is 500 more that attended the second round last year. Additionallhy, the players, staff, and grounds (fire hydrants) were decked out in pink to raise awareness of breast cancer and the start of October as Breast Cancer Awareness month.
On Saturday, the tournament is sponsoring Military Appreciation Day, in which all members of the military are granted free admission.
Article by Melissa Parker
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