PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Stacy Lewis shot an 8-under 64 on Friday for a share of the Cambia Portland Classic lead – and a chance to make a big donation to hurricane relief in her hometown.
From The Woodlands in the Houston area, Lewis is giving her earnings this week to the relief efforts. The 11-time LPGA Tour champion also is trying to win for the first time since 2014.
“It would honestly probably be one of the most special,” Lewis said about winning. “It would probably be up there with a major. That was the goal to start the week, was to take a big check home. That’s still the goal. Now I’m in a good spot to do that.”
Her husband, Gerrod Chadwell, is the University of Houston women’s golf coach.
Two-time defending champion Brooke Henderson and first-round leader In Gee Chun matched Lewis at 10-under 134 at tree-lined Columbia Edgewater. Henderson played a five-hole stretch in 5 under in a 67, and Chun had a 68.
Lewis made three straight birdies on Nos. 6-8 on her final nine.
“It was probably one of the easiest rounds of the year, to be honest,” Lewis said. “Kind of had a lot of rounds where I was having to fight through it. It was one that I just felt like I could make a lot of birdies. Haven’t felt that way in a while, so it was really nice.”
Henderson holed out from 82 yards for eagle on the par-4 11th and birdied Nos. 12, 14 and 15 before dropping a stroke on the par-3 16th.
“It was just a little bit up and down today,” Henderson said. “I made a lot of birdies and an eagle, which is awesome. I made a couple bogeys that I would like to take off the card for the next few days.”
The 19-year-old Canadian set the tournament record of 21-under 267 in 2015. She had a hole-in-one Wednesday in the pro-am playing alongside Nancy Lopez, the only three-time winner in event history.
“I think just keep everything the same. Seems to be working so far,” Henderson said. “I love this tournament. It’s really been special to me. Hopefully, I can go out and make the next few days special, too.”
Henderson has four LPGA Tour victories, also winning the major KPMG Women’s PGA last year and the Meijer LPGA Classic in June.
Chun is playing the event for the first time. The South Korean player tied for third last week in the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open and has four runner-up finishes this season. Both of her LPGA Tour victories have come in majors – the 2015 U.S. Women’s Open and the 2016 Evian Championship.
“I really like this course,” Chun said. “Also, spectators so kind here. I really enjoy them.”
Ai Miyazato was two strokes back after a 67 in her final start in the United States. The Japanese star plans to retire after The Evian Championship in two weeks in France.
“I’m enjoying my game,” Miyazato said. “This is so much fun for me, especially this tournament. I won 2010 and I have such great memories. I love this tournament and I love all the people. They are very supportive. Hopefully, I can keep it going.”
Jodi Ewart Shadoff (67) and Moriya Jutanugarn (69) also were 8 under.
Second-ranked Lexi Thomspson followed her opening 68 with a 75 to make the cut on the number at 1 under. Top-ranked So Yeon Ryu, playing alongside Thompson, missed the cut by a stroke with rounds of 74 and 70.