Former World No 1 Stacy Lewis made a rare return to the top of the leaderboard at the LPGA Tour’s Los Angeles Open on Thursday.
The 34-year-old American birdied four of her last six holes for a bogey-free, six-under-par 65 at Wilshire Country Club.
That gave her a share of the lead with Australian Hannah Green, who made three birdies on either side of the turn for a bogey-free 65 of her own.
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Lewis is a former 12-time winner on the LPGA Tour but hasn’t tasted victory since 2017, and was pleased that both her long and short game came to the party.
“I hit it good and putted well,” Lewis said. “That’s kind of the combination that’s been missing, is just putting both of them together. Finally did it on the same day.”
Lewis missed the cut at the inaugural LA Open last year and complained about the course afterwards, but said organisers have made some improvements.
“Last year it was super firm and so I did not like the golf course,” she said. “Now the greens are much more receptive and you can just hit a lot better golf shots.”
Like Lewis, co-leader Green was pleased to have all aspects of her game firing.
“My ball-striking was great, but also my putter was really hot,” Green said. “I was really happy with how I rolled it.”
Green’s fellow Australian Minjee Lee lies alone in third place a further stroke back after also going bogey-free.
“It was pretty solid all round,” said Lee. “I just hit the greens and then if I was close, I would try and take opportunity of my birdie chances. If not, then I would be able to have a par.”
Canada’s Anne-Catherine Tanguay lies in fourth two strokes back of the leaders.
As many as nine players share fifth place, including last week’s Lotte Championship winner Brooke Henderson, former World No 1 Inbee Park, Shanshan Feng and Lizette Salas.
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