THE COLONY Texas — Charley Hull tried to put more effort into the putting. She made eight birdies in her round, which was 7-under 64, to take the 36-hole lead at The Ascendant LPGA.
Hull took control with four birdies on a six-hole stretch around Turn 6. She led by two shots over Xiyu Lin (68), and Atthaya Thtikul of Thailand, whose eaglebirdie finish gave them a 67.
Thitikul can move up to No. By winning for the second consecutive week on the LPGA Tour, Thitikul can climb to No.
They played in the morning, and they caught the best side of the wave at Old American Golf Club with moderate winds. However, the course was still bouncy making it difficult for them to get on the pins.
Hull, a 26year-old Englishman, did well and relied on her putting. She prefers to play as many as 36 holes per day, which is what she dislikes about practicing at home.
Hull stated, I feel like the putter is very strong today. I was very focused on my putting when I was at home because that was the most boring part of the game to practice. Its not something I practice as often as I should. Ive been practicing it for two hours every day and trying to fix it.
She began on the back nine, and she made her first birdie on 17th par-5. This set her up for three birdies on the first four holes of the front nine. Hull finished with two birdies, and was at 11-under 131.
I cant remember much of my round because it was so focused. Hull stated that she didnt know my score when she came in.
Hull, a five time Solheim Cup player is now nearly six years from her CME Group Championship lone LPGA Tour victory. She has also won three Ladies European Tour victories, the latest being last fall in New Yorks Aramco Team Series.
Thitikul won in Arkansas last week and can now replace Jin Young Ko at No. By winning, she will be No. 1 in the world. She will be no worse then No. After Nelly Korda shot 75 to 72 and missed the cut, she will be no worse than No. 2.
Thitikul is open about the fact that Old American isnt her favorite game. She shared with her team that she didnt have high expectations at the beginning of the week.
This could be what is helping the Thai teenager, who is learning to think less and react more to shots. She overcome a double bogey at the par-4 ninth hole, and was in great shape for the weekend with a 40 foot eagle putt at the 17th and closing birdie.
Thitikul stated, When I started, just like before the first round, I just told my manager, my caddie that make it to the cut is good enough. Its difficult for me. Its so different than last week. Its dry and almost gone, and there are so many bunkers.
I don’t think too heavily on the course. This is why I can play well these days.
Lin led by one after round one and birdied two par 5s.
Lindy Duncan was three shots behind with a 65. Jessica Korda shot 66, four behind Jessica Korda, and Lydia Ko shot 66, a further stroke back. Lexi Thompson played in the morning but could only manage 70. This is six shots behind the American who tries to win the LPGA for more than three years.