Georgia Hall shoots 9-under 63 to take LPGA Tour lead
Published 10:04 pm Friday, August 31, 2018
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Georgia Hall shot a 9-under 63 on Friday to take a three-stroke lead in the Cambia Portland Classic and break the tournament 36-hole record.
The Women’s British Open winner four weeks ago for her first LPGA Tour title, the 22-year-old Englishwoman made five straight birdies in the middle of the back nine. She missed a chance to match the course record of 62 when her long birdie try went to the right on the par-4 18th.
“The putts were really good,” Hall said. “I holed some really long ones, as well, and my long game was pretty good today, and I didn’t really miss a green that much. I’m extremely happy. I kind of stayed in there and kept trying to get more birdies, so I was happy with that.”
Hall had a 15-under 129 total. She had four birdies on the front nine, three in a row on Nos. 5-7, and began the birdie streak on the par-5 12th at tree-lined Columbia Edgewater.
“I love this golf course,” Hall said. “It’s very nice to play. It’s in great condition, so I look forward to the weekend and seeing what I can do.”
Minjee Lee was second, following her opening 64 with a 68. The 22-year-old Australian won the Volvik Championship in May in Michigan for her fourth LPGA Tour title.
“I just scrambled when I had to and just took advantage of the shots that I hit close,” Lee said. “It was all-around OK today.”
Marina Alex, the first-round leader after tying the course record with a 62, had a late bogey in a 71 to fall into a tie with Megan Khang at 11 under.
“Had some great looks that just didn’t go in,” Alex said. I just really didn’t make anything. They weren’t bad strokes or putts, they just didn’t go in. So just carry some good juju into tomorrow.”
Khang eagled the par-5 fifth in a 65.
“I just kind of hit some great shots, had some good numbers, and just kind of stayed patient out there,” Khang said. Definitely gave myself a lot of opportunities, and luckily a few of them dropped, and just kind of kept that mentality for the rest of the day.”
Brooke Henderson followed her opening 64 with a 71 to drop into a tie for fifth at 9 under. The 20-year-old Canadian star, the 2015 and 2016 winner at Columbia Edgewater, is coming off a victory Sunday in the CP Women’s Open on home soil in Saskatchewan.
“Got off to a shaky start, two bogeys right back-to-back on the back nine, which was my front nine, and I just kind of fought the rest of the day to kind of get it under par,” Henderson said. “So, I’m happy with 1 under. I would have obviously liked to have been better and get up the leaderboard a little bit more, but I just felt like I kind of battled my way through, and I feel like I did a good job of that.”
Australia’s Su Oh also was 9 under after a 69.
Lexi Thompson was 3 under after a 73. She missed the cut last week in Canada after tying for 12th in Indianapolis following a three-week break for emotional and mental fatigue.
Karen Stupples shot 71-79 to miss the cut in her first tour start in more than two years. The 45-year-old English player is a commentator for Golf Channel.
“I accomplished what I set out to at the start of the week, which was to prove to myself that I still had potential to play, even though I don’t want to,” Stupples said.