Cristie Kerr, Lexi Thompson continue run of team success at UL International Crown

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Cristie Kerr, Lexi Thompson continue run of team success at UL International Crown

LPGA Tour

Cristie Kerr, Lexi Thompson continue run of team success at UL International Crown

INCHEON, South Korea – Cristie Kerr couldn’t get to the doctor fast enough after the opening round of the UL International Crown. What she feared might be strep throat has zapped her energy the past two days.

Still, it didn’t slow down the ultra-successful duo of Kerr and Lexi Thompson, who are now 9-1-2 together in team events. Kerr and Thompson downed the Swedish pair of Pernilla Lindberg and Madalene Sagstrom, 2 up, in the first of three four-balls sessions.

“I love having Cristie as a partner,” said Thompson. “She’s a bulldog out there.”

Golf Channel announcer Karen Stupples noted that the pair bring out the best in each other, so much to the point that “there are times when you think, if Cristie could caddie for Lexi, Lexi could win every single week she teed it up.”

The second American team of Jessica Korda and Michelle Wie battled back admirably from a 4-down deficit through five holes, extending their match against Anna Nordqvist and Caroline Hedwall to the 18th. But it wasn’t enough.

The Americans, 2016 Crown champs, trail host country South Korea, the only country to sweep both matches, by two points.

“They got off to a really hot start,” said Korda. “I mean if Anna wasn’t making a birdie, Caroline was making a birdie, so it was hard to get into it. I had, the first shot in I hit a bomb drive and it ends up in a divot. And half the lies out here were just in slight holes. So when you had a chance you didn’t really like you could really take advantage of it. Then we started making a charge out there, but just, it is what it is. It’s match play.”

This marked Wie’s first round since the Ricoh Women’s British Open in August when she withdrew due to a wrist injury. She called it a learning experience.

“It felt pretty good,” Wie said. “There were a couple of lies out there that were not ideal. It’s a tough golf course with the lies out here, the conditions. And every single ball we just had were just in the fairway, but in a like we hit the drive really great, then in a hole.”

Truth be told they were in a hole most of the day, in more ways than one.

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