Sharp pulls into tie for lead after 2nd round at Cambridge

Lexi Thompson of the US watches her drive on the 18th tee during the final round of the LPGA Manulife Classic at Whistle Bear Golf Club in Cambridge, Ont., on Sunday, June 11, 2017. "And, you know, four under, it got really windy out there, so I'm really happy". Last year, Lee Mi-hyang finished runner-up.

Thompson had never played Whistle Bear Golf Club before this week, but she continued her fine debut form, adding a five birdie, bogey-free round to her opening rounds of 67, 65 to finish the day at 17-under par. It was the first time in her 12-year LPGA Tour career that she has been the leader or co-leader after 36 holes - a span of 246 starts. Her third-hole misery didn't last long either. "Today I was able to get a few tap-in birdies that were only at three or four feet and that gave me a lot of confidence". "If I made those I would have won, but that's golf I guess".

Conditions were warm and breezy and preferred lies were in effect for the second straight day. She closed with six straight pars for a 3-under-par 69 that left her at 17-under 271.

Others looking for a good Sunday include Lindy Duncan of the US, who reached 16 under par after a 67, and South Korea's In Gee Chun, who carded a 68 to get to 15 under. She did work with Tristan Mullally during her years as part of Golf Canada's national team and Young Pro program, and leading into the Olympics, but that partnership ended after leaving Rio.

In Gee Shun of South Korea is alone in third, two shots behind Thompson. She had a double bogey on her final hole and finished seven strokes back after a 76.

Chasing the top spot and her first win of the year, Ariya Jutanugarn got off to a decent start at the Manulife LPGA Classic in Cambridge, Canada on Thursday.

"I make one more putt on (a) Thursday and the momentum changes for the entire week", she said at a pre-tournament availability.

"Hit my driver well today, and I would say I've been hitting fairways and hitting greens and really rolling the putter well", Duncan said. Her round included an eagle, six birdies and six bogeys. "Of course there is going to be a little bit more pressure because I'm Canadian, but I love big crowds". "I feel like my game is so close to being so great".

The victor of the $1.7-million tournament will earn $255,000. She raised her hand to her mouth in shock after hitting the winning shot. "I didn't know. When I was done, I asked my caddie, 'Did I shoot 10-under?' He's like, 'Yeah, I think so'". It was the low round on the LPGA Tour this year. Her last victory came at the 2016 Canadian Pacific Women's Open.

Marchand, a Symetra Tour player from Orangeville, Ont., wasn't intimidated despite playing with world No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand, who was tied with Sharp in fourth place after a 65. Although she was absent from the LPGA tour, Kim continued to stay in season by playing at 2017 NH Investment & Securities Ladies Championship in May, finishing 31st, and most recently, she competed at a JLPGA tour event last weekend, finishing 14th.

  • Carolyn Briggs