Lexi Thompson off to strong start at Shoprite with bogey-free 64

Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports

Lexi Thompson off to strong start at Shoprite with bogey-free 64

Golf

Lexi Thompson off to strong start at Shoprite with bogey-free 64

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Lexi Thompson posted a bogey-free 7-under 64 Friday at the Shoprite LPGA Classic at the Seaview Hotel and Golf Club in Galloway, N.J.

Thompson had seven birdies to climb to T-2 in the morning wave of players on the Bay Course. Currently No. 4 in the Rolex Rankings, Thompson tied for second at last week’s U.S.  Women’s Open in Charleston despite a final round 2-over 73. It was her 13th consecutive U.S. Women’s Open, after first qualifying when she was 12.

Jeongeun Lee6, coming off her U.S. Open victory, shot a 63 in the afternoon to grab a share of the lead with Pornanong Phatlum.

After her round Friday, Thompson told Golf Channel she’s sticking with the claw putting grip that she used last week in the Open.

Scott Thompson, Lexi’s dad, said last week he believes the claw steadies her stroke, especially when nerves might start to show.

“I think it’s just something that over a matter of time it will just get better once I get the speed down with it, just more and more comfortable with it,” Lexi Thompson said last week of the change. “Putting is all confidence and being comfortable over it. I believe I’m there.”

Seeking her first LPGA victory, Phatlum was the early leader with a 63 in Round 1, which included an eagle on the ninth hole.

Rookie Kristen Gillman, a two-time U.S. Women’s Amateur champion who went to Alabama, also shot a 64 along with Muni He.

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