Record round boosts Lewis six shots ahead after two rounds of ShopRite

Stacy Lewis at the ShopRite LPGA Classic
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Stacy Lewis tied the ShopRite Classic's 36-hole record with her second straight 65.
By
Associated Press

Series: PGA Tour

Published: Saturday, June 02, 2012 | 7:19 p.m.

GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. -- Stacy Lewis tied a tournament 36-hole record with a second-round 65 at the ShopRite LPGA Classic to maintain the lead on Saturday.

Lewis' two-day total of 130 leads Anna Nordqvist, who shot a 67, by six strokes and holds a seven-stroke edge over the third-place foursome of So Yeon Ryu, Azahara Munoz, Katherine Hull and Paula Creamer.

SHOPRITE CLASSIC

The ShopRite Classic was an LPGA Tour staple from 1986 through 2006, then fell off the schedule for a few years until it returned in 2010.

The last time Lewis led entering the final round of a LPGA Tour event, she won the Mobile Bay Classic on April 29. The glaring difference in building a lead at the ShopRite, she said, was not sneaking a peek at the leaderboard, which she felt made her play cautious in Mobile.

"I took so much from Mobile," said Lewis, who birdied three of the first five holes on Saturday. "I had a two-shot lead, but then I think at the turn, I had a five-shot lead and I made the mistake of playing safe, and not really staying into my game and what I was doing. I was worrying about what other people were doing, watching the leaderboard. So today, out there, I made the turn and had a two-shot lead and kind of told myself, 'let's see how big we can get this.'"

After starting strong, Lewis survived a near disaster on the par-4 sixth hole, which she double bogeyed. She opened No. 6 by driving the first shot into the brush, then battled back to three-putt the hole. Lewis responded by birdieing five of the last 10 holes.

Nordqvist rebounded nicely in the second round, surging from sixth place the first day to sitting alone in second on Saturday after shooting birdies on six holes, including three consecutive birdies on holes 11, 12 and 13. Nordqvist, however, had the streak snapped with a bogey on the par-4 14 and ended by shooting par on the last four holes.

Early in the day, the greens were slow, from torrential rain the previous night. But as the day progressed, with the wind and sun, the greens became much faster.

Nordqvist noticed the difference.

"Yeah, absolutely, especially in the afternoon," Nordvqist said. "Yesterday, it was so windy, so they dried out pretty good, and even from the practice rounds. But today, you were putting spin on the wedges and it's tough to get them close when they were tucked in the corners, or tucked in the back corners, because you can't really let it fly all of the way. I thought my putting was great. I made a lot of short putts, and I made, I think, two putts over 20 feet. So that was great."

Munoz had a terrific round, shooting a 68 without a bogey. The greens, she admitted, were a little confusing and took her some time to read.

"Yeah, it was kind of confusing actually, because I guess it rained a lot overnight and the greens were pretty soft. Sometimes, I'd wait for the balls to be release and yesterday it didn't and the balls came back way too much, but it is playing a little softer. The (second hole) I missed it pretty good on the right side, but I made a really nice up-and-down and after that, it was pretty simple."

Yani Tseng, the world's No. 1 player, finished in a four-way tie for seventh. She had a nice spell with birdies on four-straight holes before falling off in the latter portion of the round, stung by bogeys on the par-4 fourth hole and par-3 seventh hole. Tseng closed with a birdie on the par-5 ninth hole.