GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — Morgan Pressel kept her patience Saturday despite a steady breeze and greens that grew bumpy in the afternoon, shooting a 2-under 69 to maintain a one-stroke lead in the ShopRite LPGA Classic.
Pressel had three birdies and a bogey to reach 7-under 135 on Stockton Seaview’s Bay Course. The 27-year-old American won the last of her two LPGA Tour victories in 2008.
Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist was second. She birdied the last three holes for a 69.
Gerina Piller, Kelly Shon, Pernilla Lindberg, Catriona Matthew and Christel Boeljon were tied for third at 4 under. Shon had a 68, and Piller, Lindberg, Matthew and Boeljon shot 70.
The start was delayed an hour by fog. After the fog lifted, the breeze that usually blows at the Bay Course confounded many players trying to pull the right clubs. In addition, players noted that bumpy greens affected their putting.
Pressel didn’t allow the conditions to bother her even though she missed a number of makeable birdie putts early in the round. She did card a pair of birdies on her front nine – a 2-putt at the par-5 third hole and on the difficult par-4 sixth.
Her only bogey of the day came at the par-4 13th hole, where she lost her drive into the trees on the right and had to punch out from high grass into the fairway. After her third shot rolled over the green, she got up and down from 6 feet for a good bogey.
She got the shot back at No. 16, hitting a 7-iron approach from 170 yards to 20 feet, and sinking the putt.
Pressel came close to winning last month, but lost a playoff to top-ranked Lydia Ko in the Swinging Skirts in California.
Nordqvist, a four-time tour winner who had four straight top-10 finishes earlier this year, rallied from bogeys at Nos. 11 and 12. She began her hot stretch with a 5-foot birdie putt at the 16th, followed by a 6-footer at the short 17th and a 10-footer at the par-5 18th.
Defending champion Stacy Lewis and 17-year-old Canadian sensation Brooke Henderson struggled, but made the 36-hole cut right on the number at 3-over 145. Lewis had a 73, and Henderson, who had eight birdies in her opening round, went without a birdie Saturday in her round of 77.
Michelle Wie, who withdrew from the Kingsmill Championship for what was diagnosed as bursitis in her left hip, missed the cut with a 72 and 4-over 146 total. She said her hip was sore and that she was considering withdrawing from the Manulife Classic next week in Cambridge, Ontario.