Monday, November 20, 2017
Golf

Seminole's Brittany Lincicome one back at LPGA Championship; Lexi Thompson shares lead

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PITTSFORD, N.Y. — Long-hitting Lexi Thompson figured she might have an edge on the LPGA Championship's new course.

She did.

Thompson and Meena Lee shot 6-under 66 Thursday to share the first-round lead in the LPGA Tour's fourth major of the season. They were a stroke ahead of Seminole's Brittany Lincicome, another long hitter; Lisa McCloskey; and rookie Jennifer Kirby.

"It's all about confidence," Thompson, 19, said. "You just have to go into every shot just telling yourself you're going to pull it off."

Thompson, the Kraft Nabisco winner in April for her first major, and Lee each had eight birdies and two bogeys.

Shanshan Feng, the winner two years ago, was tied at 68 with 2010 champion Cristie Kerr.

Locust Hill had been the tournament host in the Rochester area for 37 straight years before the tour switched this year to nearby Monroe Golf Club and moved the event from June to August. The Donald Ross-designed course is about 300 yards longer at 6,717 yards and does not have a water hazard. It does have 106 bunkers, more than double those at Locust Hill.

The par 3s are longer, too, at 183, 193 and 207 yards, but the wider fairways favor long hitters such as Lincicome and Thompson, who led the LPGA coming in with an average of 271.2 yards off the tee. A course made soft by recent rain only made that edge larger, as did a stiff wind.

Lincicome, 28, whose best finish this year is a tie for 10th at the Airbus LPGA Classic in May, had eight birdies and three bogeys and avoided any three-putt greens.

"I think, take today and just build," she said. "I feel like I've been playing well. I've been doing a lot of really good things. It's just not all coming together. I was hitting things to, like, a foot (Thursday) and just tapping them in. It was stress-free."

PGA: Camilo Villegas shot 7-under 63 for a one-stroke lead after the first round at the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, N.C. Webb Simpson and William McGirt shot 64 in the final event before the tour's playoffs. Villegas, a former Gator, hasn't won since 2010 and has only two top-10 finishes in the past three years.

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