Thompson, Miyazato share ANA Inspiration lead
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — Lexi Thompson powered her way to the top of the ANA Inspiration leaderboard Friday, using length and strength to counter the thick rough.
"If you're going to hit it crooked out here, you might as well hit it far and crooked, so you have a shorter shot in," Thompson said. "But it's very thick. I had some really nasty lies out there."
Trying to win the major championship for the second time in three years, Thompson birdied the final hole for a 4-under 68 and a share of the second-round lead with Ai Miyazato at 7 under.
Miyazato, tied for the first-round lead with Azahara Munoz, followed her opening 67 with a 70. The 30-year-old Japanese player also finished with a birdie, hitting to 2 feet on the par-5 ninth.
Short off the tee and in stature at 5-foot-2, Miyazato is far more conservative than Thompson at tree-lined Mission Hills.
"I don't really want to be too aggressive on this golf course," Miyazato said. "You need to be really patient and you need to be smart for the course management."
Top-ranked Lydia Ko (68) was a stroke back along with Suzann Pettersen (67), In Gee Chun (69), Lizette Salas (67), Sung Hyun Park (67) and Lee-Anne Pace (70). Michelle Wie (69) topped the group at 5 under, and 2011 winner Stacy Lewis (68) was another shot behind.
PGA: At Houston, Charley Hoffman had a 2-under 70 for a one-shot lead over Jamie Lovemark at the Houston Open.
Lovemark is a former NCAA champion seeking his first PGA Tour title after having his career affected by back surgery. He was one of four players to shoot the day's low score, 68, under conditions that worsened as the afternoon went on, which helped protect Hoffman from the field.
Dustin Johnson was among those chasing Hoffman, who opened with a 64 Thursday, but Johnson dropped back to 8 under with a bogey on 17, closing with a 71 after narrowly missing a 10-foot birdie putt on 18.
Johnson was in the last group to finish the round before darkness stopped play.
A 93-minute morning weather delay brought on by rain and lightning in the area ensured that 27 players will have to complete the second round this morning.
WEB.COM: At Sao Paulo, Brazil, Ashland's Jason Allred shot a 2-under 69 and was tied for 48th place after two rounds of the Brasil Champions.
Allred had three birdies on a clean card through 11 holes, but bogeys at the 13th and 15th knocked him back. He also birdied the 17th.
Bhavik Patel followed up his opening 62 with a 67 and held the clubhouse lead until Andrew Svoboda fired a 65 to match his 13-under effort.
CHAMPIONS: At Saucier, Miss., the opening round of the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic was moved to today because of heavy rain in south Mississippi at Fallen Oak.
The field includes 26 of the top 30 in the current Charles Schwab Cup money list. David Frost, who won last year's tournament at Fallen Oak, is also playing this weekend.