Lewis opens big lead at ShopRite LPGA Classic
Galloway, NJ (Sports Network) - Stacy Lewis fired her second straight six- under 65 Saturday to grab a commanding six-stroke lead after two rounds at the ShopRite LPGA Classic.
Lewis, who shared the first-round lead, finished 36 holes at 12-under 130 to tie the tournament record that Amy Benz set in 1996 and Denise Killeen matched in 2004.
Lewis claimed her second LPGA Tour title a little over a month ago at the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic.
Anna Nordqvist carded a four-under 67 to move into second place at minus-six at Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club.
The last two U.S. Women's Open champions, Paula Creamer (70) and So Yeon Ryu (67), are tied for third place at five-under 137 with Katherine Hull (66) and Azahara Munoz (68).
Women's world No. 1 Yani Tseng carded a four-under 67 to move into a tie for seventh at minus-four. She was joined there by three others, including Mika Miyazato, who shared the first-round lead with Lewis but struggled to a 73 on Saturday.
Lewis got off to a fast start with birdies on the first and third. She moved to nine-under with a birdie on the fifth, but disaster struck at the sixth.
The 2011 Kraft Nabisco champion hit her drive into the brush and had to chip out. She hit her third onto the green, but three-putted for double-bogey.
"I probably should have hit three-wood off the tee," Lewis admitted. "I was worried about my driver going through the fairway, so kind of laid off the driver and hit it into the brush."
Lewis recovered those lost strokes with birdies on the ninth and 10th. She converted birdie chances on the 12th and 14th to expand her lead, then closed out a stellar round with a birdie on the par-five closing hole.
"It was a really solid day again," Lewis said. "I don't know what the deal is, but made another double on six and then I was proud of the way I came back after that because I really could have gone the other way, but hung in there and made a bunch of birdies on the back."
Lewis also had a double-bogey in the first round, but has 14 birdies and an eagle through two rounds.
"I took so much from Mobile. I had a couple-shot lead, but 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 and worrying about what other people were doing, watching leaderboards," said Lewis of the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic.
"Today, when I made the turn I think I had a two-shot lead and kind of told myself let's see how big we can get this. I took so much from Mobile, just to stay in what I'm doing and can't worry what anybody else is doing is keep the pedal down."
Nordqvist, the 2009 LPGA Championship winner, birdied the first and third, She faltered to a bogey on the seventh, but erased that error with a birdie on the par-five ninth.
Around the turn, she flew up the leaderboard with three straight birdies from the 11th. Nordqvist tripped to a bogey on 14 before making four consecutive pars to close out her round.
"It was really solid. I think I hit 16 greens," Nordqvist said. "I put it on the right spot on the greens. There were some really tough hole locations today, so it was hard to get to them. But I gave myself good birdie opportunities."
NOTES: Lewis owns the 36-hole lead for the second time in her career. The other time she was in this position was when she won the Kraft Nabisco...Like Lewis, Nordqvist will go for her third LPGA Tour win on Sunday...The cut line fell at four-over 146 with 85 players moving on to the final round...Ryann O'Toole, Natalie Gulbis, Karen Stupples and Michelle Wie were among those who missed the cut.
06/02 20:21:13 ET