Lexi Thompson, Ai Miyazato share ANA Inspiration lead

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Source:   —  April 02, 2016, at 5:27 AM

"But it'south very thick. I'd some really nasty lies out there."Trying to win the major championship for the second time in three years, Thompson birdied the final hole for a 4-under sixty-eight and a share of the second-round lead with Ai Miyazato at seventh under.

Lexi Thompson, Ai Miyazato share ANA Inspiration lead

Lexi Thompson powered her way to the top of the ANA Inspiration leaderboard Friday, using length and strength to counter the thick rough.

"If you're going to hit it bent out here, you might as well hit it distant and crooked, so you've a shorter shot in," Thompson said. "But it'south very thick. I'd some really nasty lies out there."

Trying to win the major championship for the second time in three years, Thompson birdied the final hole for a 4-under sixty-eight and a share of the second-round lead with Ai Miyazato at seventh under.

Miyazato, tied for the first-round lead with Azahara Munoz, followed her opening sixty-seven with a seventy. The 30-year-old Japanese player also finished with a birdie, hitting to two feet on the par-fifth ninth.

Brief off the tee and in stature at five-foot-two, Miyazato is distant more conservative than Thompson at tree-lined Mission Hills.

"I don't really wish to be too aggressive on this golf course," Miyazato said. "You necessity to be really patient and you necessity to be bright for the course management."

Top-ranked Lydia Ko (sixty-eight) was a stroke back along with Suzann Pettersen (sixty-seven), In Gee Chun (sixty-nine), Lizette Salas (sixty-seven), Sung Hyun Park (sixty-seven) and Lee-Anne Pace (seventy). Michelle Wie (sixty-nine) topped the grouping at 5 under, and two thousand eleven winner Stacy Lewis (sixty-eight) was another shot behind.

The Kia Classic winner Sun in Carlsbad, the eighteen-year-old Ko fought allergies that affected her vision.

"I'm currently one-eye blind," Ko said. "I don't have very excellent eyesight, particularly my left side is the worst, so it was really irritating me. Hopefully, it'll be OK by tomorrow."

Thompson finished her morning circular with a 30-foot birdie putt on the par-5 eighteenth to reach seven under. She'd five birdies — three in a row on Nos. 12-14 — and one bogey.

"I definitely could've shot a few shots lower out there, but I hit some horrible shots out there, too, that I got far with it," Thompson said. "I recovered really well. That'south what you've to do in majors. If you hit a horrible shot, you've to choose yourself up and go to the next one."

That was evident after she drove into the right-side trees on the narrow par-4 sixteenth. She escaped with a mighty hooked pitching wedge below the trees, leaving a 15-foot putt that she nearly holed for birdie.

The winner in Thailand in Feb for her seventh tour title, she'south using a new big-headed putter and has scrapped her eyes-closed routine and narrowed her stance.

"It'south a dramatic change," Thompson said. "Just changing to the Remedy putter and a small bit different stance over the putts has given me a lot of confidence. I'm rolling it a lot better, and having my caddie, Benji (Thompson, number relation), line me up has helped me out a lot, too."

Miyazato rebounded from a bogey on the par-three eighth with the birdie on No. nine to set up a Saturday pairing with the long-hitting Thompson.

"I played with her many times and I really love to play with her," Miyazato said. "It just doesn't matter this golf course if you hit long or not. You necessity to be really staying with your game."

Miyazato was third in the Kia Classic for her first top-10 finish since April two thousand thirteen. Ranked No. one in the world for eleven weeks in two thousand-tenth, the nine-time LPGA Tour winner is ninetieth presently after climbing sixty-seven spots Monday.

Chun is returning from a back injury that sidelined her for a month. The U. S. Women'south Open winner was damage when she was struck by a hard-case suitcase that rival player Ha Na Jang'south father dropped down an escalator at the Singapore airport.

"During the time I'd injury treatments back in Korea, I was so depressed and I lost my appetite and motivation," Chun said. "Once I got here, I began to obtain my motivation back."

Jang was 5 below after a seventy. She bogeyed her final hole after a poor drive.

"It was a really large miss off the tee," said Jang, a two-time winner this year.

Wie holed out from one hundred thirty-two yards for eagle on the par-4 twelfth, her third hole of the day.

"That was fun," Wie said. "I definitely felt love I could've made a lot more. I just felt love a blind person out there. I hit a lot of excellent putts. I just misread them slightly."

DIVOTS: Defending winner Brittany Lincicome, paired with Thompson, was 3 below after a sixty-nine. Latest year, Lincicome eagled the final hole of regulation and beat Lewis on the third hole of a playoff. Lincicome also won the event in 2009... Munoz had a seventy-eight to drop into a tie for forty-eighth at first over... Amateurs Hannah O'Sullivan and Albane Valenzuela each shot seventy-three to create the cut. O'Sullivan, the U. S. Women'south Amateur winner was one over, and Valenzuela 2 over. The 18-year-old O'Sullivan is a high school senior in Chandler, Arizona. Valenzuela, also 18, is from Switzerland.

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