Lexi Thompson opens 3-stroke lead at Kingsmill

Defending champion Aria Jutanugarn watches her tee shot on the ninth hole during the first round of the Kingsmill Championship LPGA golf tournament in Williamsburg Va. Thursday

American Lexi Thompson fired a six-under-par 65 Thursday to grab a one-stroke lead after the opening round of the LPGA Kingsmill Championship at Williamsburg, Virginia. Piller, who for much of the day seemed Thompson's equal, if not her better, made bogey on two of her final three holes to fall three shots off the lead.

Thompson is playing in her third event since she lost the first major of the year, the ANA Inspiration, in a playoff after a television viewer called in a rules violation and she was assessed a penalty.

"I played my practice round at the Kingsmill Golf Resort and it is picturesque and the course is in great shape".

The two players who are breathing down Ko's neck for the No 1 ranking, So Yeon Ryu and Ariya Jutanugarn, are back in the pack; Ryu is at three-under par and Jutanugarn one-over par, with both players early in their second rounds. Sagstrom ended her 2nd round with a 68 and goes into the weekend at 4-under par.

Thompson delivered a second sizzling round today. She won the season-opening event in the Bahamas. "I have always been a very good putter and it helps a lot on the LPGA because there are a lot of players who are nearly doing the same thing, hitting fairways and hitting greens so sometimes I feel like the only way to make the difference is if you putt well", she said. Winless on the LPGA Tour, she chipped in for her birdie on 17.

She answered with a birdie on the first hole, her second nine of the round, then ran off her birdie binge starting at the par-5 third and ending at the par-5 seventh.

“I dont think I was hitting the ball fantastic, so there is a little bit of improvement to do there, ” Ko said.

"It's always good to get off to that kind of start and get comfortable", Piller said. It's just a tournament that I love to come back to. "Just excited for tomorrow".

"Yeah, it feels good", said the still only 22-year-old.

Lincicome had five birdies in a bogey-free round. "The greens are so fast". It's always nice to walk out of your room and the 9th hole is right there and you can walk out to the putting green.

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