Kemp, chasing first win, grabs lead at Kingsmill

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WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — Sarah Kemp shot a 4-under 67 on Friday at agency and quick Kingsmill Resort to take a 1-stroke lead into the weekend within the LPGA Tour’s Pure Silk Championship.

“This golf course is made for me as a result of I really feel like I am not lengthy and I’ve loads the wedges in, so I am unable to think about it being a bonus for the lengthy hitters and I am not a bomber,” Kemp mentioned. “If I simply hit it down the golf green, it is agency and quick they usually’re rolling out and I’ve had quite a lot of wedge pictures.”

Kemp rebounded from a bogey on the par-4 fourth — her thirteenth gap of the day on the River Course — with birdies on the par-5 seventh and par-4 eighth, holing a 20-footer on No. 8 to tie Stacy Lewis for the lead at 6 below and ending with a par on No. 9.

The 35-year-old Australian is winless in her 14-season LPGA Tour profession.

“I actually turned my placing round on the finish of final yr,” Kemp mentioned. “I labored actually onerous. I used to be aggravated as a result of I had hit the ball nice for a pair years and I simply did not convert the alternatives.”

Lewis scrambled for a closing bogey on the par-4 18th in a 69, dropping just one shot after driving into the water and having to re-tee. She was tied for second with Jessica Korda and Ana Belac.

“I have been engaged on my driver and it has been actually good this week up till this level,” Lewis mentioned. “So, form of simply informed myself to overlook about it as a result of I do know I am hitting it higher than that, and hit an awesome second drive. Hit 8-iron in there to about in all probability 18 toes, after which simply informed my caddie once I made that putt, ‘That is what I do. Simply maintain grinding.'”

Lewis, 35, has 13 LPGA Tour titles, the final within the 2020 Women Scottish Open — additionally in agency and quick circumstances.

“I adore it,” Lewis mentioned. “You need to take into consideration how far your drive rolls out, which bounce you are going to get within the fairways. It is ‘considering golf’ is a greater strategy to put it. I adore it taking part in like this. I imply, when it is lush and inexperienced it appears to be like nice on TV, however I like taking part in this type of golf higher.”

Korda eagled the par-5 seventh and fifteenth holes in a 67. She made a protracted putt on No. 7 and holed out from 86 yards after laying up on the fifteenth.

“I actually wished to go for it in two, however they put the tee to this point again with how agency it’s there was no motive to even attempt to tackle that pin,” Korda mentioned in regards to the fifteenth. “So I laid up and [caddie] Kyle [Morrison] and I had been like, ‘It is only a onerous half-shot.’ It landed precisely the place we wished and it turned straight into the outlet. I used to be like, ‘Sick!’ So surprising, however very welcome.”

The winner of the season-opening Diamond Resorts Event of Champions, she additionally had 4 birdies and 4 bogeys on the course taking part in a lot firmer and sooner than she anticipated.

“I truthfully wasn’t ready for this,” Korda mentioned. “This golf course is at all times tremendous pure, overseeded, tender, not what we’re taking part in proper now. It is truly actually powerful to gauge wedge pictures as a result of the bottom is so agency that it is simply bouncing off of it. I made a few errors with some wedges in my hand, but it surely wasn’t prefer it was a nasty shot or something.”

Belac is making her second tour begin of the yr and fourth total. The 24-year-old participant from Slovenia shot 67, taking part in within the final group of the time without work the primary tee. She led Duke to the 2019 NCAA staff title and received final yr on the Symetra Tour.

“My final aim and my life aim is to play on the LPGA and do properly right here,” Belac mentioned. “Clearly, that is behind my thoughts, however I strive not to consider it once I’m out on the course and simply play my sport.”

First-round chief Wei-Ling Hsu adopted her opening 66 with a 72 to fall 2 strokes again at 4 below in a bunch with third-ranked Sei Younger Kim (71), Moriya Jutanugarn (67), Haeji Kang (68) and Wichanee Meechai (68).

Lexi Thompson bogeyed the ultimate two holes for a 72 to make the lower on the quantity at 3 over. She set the match report of 20-under 264 in 2017.

Ariya Jutanugarn, coming off a victory two weeks in the past in her dwelling LPGA Tour occasion in Thailand, missed the lower with rounds of 70 and 77. She received at Kingsmill in 2016 and 2018.

Paula Creamer additionally didn’t advance to the weekend, taking pictures 76-74 in her first LPGA Tour begin since tying for 63rd within the BMW Women Championship in October 2019. Coming off wrist and thumb accidents, she additionally has an exemption into the U.S. Ladies’s Open in two weeks.

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