Thompson-Finau in firm contention at QBE Shootout

Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau produced the second best round of the day at the QBE Shootout, to put themselves in real contention.

Thompson – the lone woman in the field – and Finau shot a six under round of 66 in the alternate shot format on the second day of the tournament, in Florida.

That left them just three shots adrift of the co-leaders – the teams of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry, plus Steve Stricker and Sean O’Hair.

Thompson said: “Alternate shot is a very tough format, but I knew if I had Tony on my team and he could hit some of those tee shots out there we would be taking his ball for the most part.

“He’s so nice and just getting to watch his game for the first time is very impressive. It’s just impressive to watch all the guys and I’m just enjoying the week.”

McDowell and Lowry moved to 18 under overall after an eight under round of 64, while overnight leaders Stricker and O’Hair shot a 69.

Sunday’s better ball format may favour Irish pair McDowell and Lowry, who have played together previously at the Handa World Cup of Golf.

McDowell said: “We said coming in to the week it would be nice to go out to dinner on Saturday night with a chance to do something on Sunday and that’s what we have.

“It’s a fun week here and we’re having a nice time.”