EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France (AP) — Lexi Thompson played a four-hole stretch in 5 under and finished with a 5-under 66 on Thursday in the Evian Championship for a share of the lead with Mi Hyang Lee.
The 20-year-old Thompson began her run with a birdie on the par-4 12th, hit a 7-iron to 20 feet to set up an eagle on the par-5 13th, and added birdies on the par-3 14th and par-5 15th. She parred the final 12 holes in her bogey-free morning round in the major championship.
Thompson won the Kraft Nabisco last year for her first major title, and took the Meijer Classic in July for her fifth career title. She has three top-10 finishes in her last five starts, and will play in the Solheim Cup matches next week in Germany against Europe.
Lee, from South Korea, had seven birdies and two bogeys at the picturesque resort above Lake Geneva.
Gerina Piller, Thompson’s U.S. Solheim Cup teammate, was a stroke back along with South Korea’s Eun-Hee Ji and Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum. Piller had eight birdies and four bogeys.
Karrie Webb had a 71, and top-ranked Inbee Park opened with a 72. Webb is attempting to win her sixth different major championship, and Park is trying to join Webb with a record five. Park has two major victories this year — the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and Ricoh Women’s British Open — and four overall titles. Webb and Park won the event before it became a major, Webb in 2006 and Park in 2012.
HOTEL FITNESS CHAMPIONSHIP
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) — Tommy Gainey and Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo shared the first-round lead at 6-under 66 in the Web.com Tour Finals-opening Hotel Fitness Championship.
Gainey had an eagle, six birdies and two bogeys at Sycamore Hills. He’s coming off a third-place finish in the regular-season finale in Portland, Oregon.
Grillo had six birdies in a bogey-free round.
The four-event series features the top 75 players from the Web.com Tour money list and Nos. 126-200 in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup standings. The top 25 players on Web.com regular-season money list earned 2015-16 PGA Tour cards. They are competing against each other for PGA Tour priority, with regular-season earnings counting in their totals and the final leader getting a spot in The Players Championship. The other players are fighting for another 25 cards based on their earnings in the series.
Gainey was 35th on the Web.com Tour money list. He won the PGA Tour’s 2012 McGladrey Classic.
Grillo is a non-tour member who earned enough money in five PGA Tour starts to have placed in the top 200 in the FedEx Cup standing had he been eligible to receive points. He had a playoff loss in the PGA Tour’s Puerto Rico Open in March.