Moodie passes Thompson late to take one stroke lead at Navistar

Natalie Gulbis exits the course after round one - Photo by Melissa Parker
Natalie Gulbis exits the course after round one - Photo by Melissa Parker

Prattville – Scotland’s 36-year-old Janice Moodie shot a career-low 8-under-par 64 (34-30) to take the lead in the first round of the Navistar LPGA Classic in Prattville.

For most of the day, 14-year-old amateur Alexis Thompson led the field with a career-low round of 7-under-par 65 (34-31) and a total of eight birdies and a bogey.

Moodie shared her thoughts about Thompson, the Coral Springs, Florida ninth grader who stands alone in second place.

“You know, I think it’s just great to see. Alexis is a nice girl. I played with her at the Kraft Nabisco, and we both played very well there the last day.”

When asked if Moodie wanted to beat her, she replied, “Absolutely.”

“The thing is, I think she wants to beat me more than I want to beat her. I used to be that age. I know what it’s like.”

Thompson has accomplished quite a bit in the sport at such a young age, but her feet seem to be firmly planted on the ground.

“I practice about seven, eight hours a day,” Thompson said. “I mean, I just try to do my best out here. If I don’t, I mean, it’s one tournament. You can’t do anything about it.”

A highlight of the first round occurred when two-time LPGA Tour winner Morgan Pressel carded her third LPGA career hole-in-one in four seasons on Tour. Pressel aced the second hole from 154 yards with a 6-iron.

It was the third time in as many years that a player has made a hole-in-one on the second hole of The Senator Course. Pressel finished the day tied for 26th at 3-under-par 69.

Lorena Ochoa signs autographs for her fans - Photo by Marc Parker
Lorena Ochoa signs autographs for her fans - Photo by Marc Parker

Defending champion and Rolex Rankings’ number one player Lorena Ochoa is among a threesome tied for third at 6-under-par 66. Rookie Michelle Wie and France’s Karine Icher are the two golfers tied with Ochoa in that position.

Natalie Gulbis, who appeared on the second season of Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice, finished the day at 53 with a 1-under-par 71. USA Solheim Cup Team Member Cristie Kerr was also ranked 53rd after the first round of play.

A total of 143 players teed up on Thursday in the hunt for the $195,000 winner’s check – part of the $1.3 million purse.

Round 2 begins on Friday with the first golfers teeing off at 6:50 AM.

Tomorrow is designated as “Passionately Pink Friday,” to celebrate October as Breast Cancer Awareness month with many players and staff members wearing pink. The tournament will also be offering specials to benefit the Susan G. Komen for The Cure, which is the official national charity of the LPGA.

Article by Melissa Parker

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