Hoping to go back-to-back following her first major title at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, Stacy Lewis headed into Saturday play just two shots back of second-round leader Sandra Gal at the Avnet LPGA Classic. Gal, who was bidding for her second LPGA win along with Lewis, fired a 7-under 67 Friday to tkae a one-stroke edge over Amy Tang at The Crossing Course at Magnolia Grove in Mobile, Ala.
Gal, who earned her first tour victory by outlasting top-ranked Yani Tseng at last month’s Kia Classic, made the turn Friday in 35 but went on a tear on the back nine, carding five birdies in seven holes.
Meanwhile, Tseng and the popular Michelle Wie were among those who failed to make the cut. Tseng finished strong on Friday, with five birdies on her back nine, including three straight to end her second round. It wasn’t enough, however, to overcome an outgoing 41 that included a double-bogey on the par-3 second hole, and a 5-over (77, 72) for the tourney.
Wie did not fare much better. An even-par 72 on Friday could not offset her opening-round 76 and she bowed out of the event at 4-over. The Stanford student took to Twitter to register her regret.
“Really [disappointed] in myself this week,” Wie tweeted Friday. “But all u can do is to look forward to the next one. Gonna use these nxt 2 weeks to really grind.”
Wie will next tee it up at the LPGA will be the May 19-May 22 Sybase Match Play Championship in Gladstone, N.J.
Gal, for her part, has been on a serious roll. She’s posted just two scores over par in her last 13 rounds and has finished no worse than a tie for 15th in each of her last three LPGA events.
“Obviously I’m playing well,” Gal told reporters following Friday’s round. “I’m just enjoying myself out there…..I’m not doing anything really different. I’ve been playing solid since the end of last year.”
Winning breeds winning, Gal suggested. “I think you get more comfortable at the top,” she said. “Being in the lead is something you know, you want to be there and feel comfortable there, so that’s probably the difference now.”