Davies keeps faith, lead at Ginn Open

Davies keeps faith, lead at Ginn Open

REUNION, Fla. (AP) — Laura Davies has been telling friends and family members all year that she felt like something good was about to happen to her on the LPGA Tour.

But after no top-10 finishes in five events, Davies wondered whether any of them believed her.

She soon might have some proof.

Davies shot a 6-under 66 in the second round of the Ginn Open on Friday, moved to 12 under and remained tied atop the leaderboard with Lorena Ochoa.

“They are probably getting fed up hearing it, (saying), ‘Oh, she’s making it up again,'” Davies said. “I have been playing really well and making nothing. If you don’t make putts, you just don’t compete.”

Davies made two huge putts Friday.

The 43-year-old English star, who won the last of her 20 LPGA Tour titles in 2001, sank a 16-footer for eagle on the par-5 17th and later drained a 20-footer for eagle on No. 3.

Davies and Ochoa were three shots ahead of Natalie Gulbis (66) and five strokes in front of defending champion Mi Hyun Kim (69) heading into Saturday’s third round.

Ochoa had a one-stroke penalty early in her round Friday that probably cost her the outright lead.

“It was a rookie mistake,” Ochoa said.

She followed with a veteran move. The 25-year-old Mexican didn’t let the error affect the rest of her round, birdieing seven of the final 12 holes to card a second straight 66.

Morgan Pressel, who became the youngest major champion in LPGA Tour history with her victory at the Kraft Nabisco Championship two weeks ago, shot 75-72 and missed the cut.

Nancy Lopez, the 50-year-old Hall of Famer trying to make a comeback, shot 83-80 and finished last in the 140-player field. It was the first time in Lopez’s 34-year career that she failed to break 80 in either of the first two rounds on tour.

“I wanted to play better than I did, for sure,” Lopez said. “I’m disappointed with my numbers, but getting out here and playing is the only way you can come back.”

Ochoa had the comeback of the day.

Her trouble started on the 518-yard, par-5 third. Her tee shot sailed right and landed under a folding chair. All she had to do was mark it, move the chair and then hit the ball.

Ochoa mistakenly picked up the ball, incurring the one-stroke penalty.

“To be honest, I’m very disappointed with myself,” Ochoa said. “I think I rushed a little bit. … I should know better. This is my fifth year on tour. But you learn, and I guess I need to take more time and try to talk through what I’m going to do with my caddie and just try to make sure I make the best decision out of something like that.”

Following the penalty, Ochoa’s third shot was back to the fairway. Her fourth came up short of the green. She then chipped to 25 feet and two-putted for a double-bogey 7.

She could have gotten flustered or harried. Instead, she regrouped with three consecutive pars before getting into a real groove the rest of the way. She ended the round with three straight birdies — the last one coming on a snaking 35-footer on No. 18.

“I really didn’t get angry or anything,” said Ochoa, a six-time winner on tour last year. “I just thought, ‘There’s a lot of holes left and you’re going to be fine.’ I’m glad the way I finished.”

Davis couldn’t complain about her finish, either, shooting 7 under over the final 11 holes.

“I had been playing well recently, but I think putting is the difference between shooting 4 under for two days and shooting the 12 under that I am,” Davies said.

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