WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (AP) — Lexi Thompson shot her second straight 6-under 65 on Friday to take a three-stroke over playing partner Gerina Piller into the weekend at the Kingsmill Championship.
Thompson is playing her third tournament since losing the ANA Inspiration in a playoff after being penalized four strokes for a rules violation that a TV viewer spotted.
The long-hitting Florida player had six birdies in a bogey-free round on Kingsmill's River Course. She waited out an hour rain delay in the middle of the round.
Piller shot a 67, closing birdie-bogey-birdie-bogey. She's winless on the LPGA Tour.
Top-ranked Lydia Ko was four strokes back at 8 under after a bogey-free 67. Trying to hold off So Yeon Ryu and Ariya Jutanugarn for the No. 1 spot, Ko is winless since July.
Ryu, the ANA winner, was 5 under after a 67. Jutanugarn, defending the first of her five tour victories last year, was 3 under after a 67 playing alongside Thompson and Piller.
Candie Kung joined Ko at 8 under. Kung eagled the par-4 sixth in a 66.
In Gee Chun (66) and Vicky Hurst (67) were 7 under, and Angela Stanford (66), Shanshan Feng (67) and Brittany Lincicome (70) were another stroke back.