Sandra Gal Leads After First Round Of CME Group Titleholders; Lexi Thompson Lurking

Sandra Gal (click to enlarge)

Sandra Gal wasted no time in establishing herself as a contender to win the LPGA Tour’s 2013 season ending event, the CME Group Titleholders. Starting on the back 9, the 2011 Kia Classic champion birdied her first 6 holes (10 through 15). She did add a bogey coming home on the front side, but finished birdying 3 of the last 4 holes. Altogether, her 8-under 64 puts her one shot ahead of Rebecca Lee-Bentham. Lee-Bentham, the 2011 Canadian Women’s Amateur winner who is in her second year on the LPGA, also started on the back 9 with 6 birdies. Rebecca would have 2 more birdies coming in on the front side against 1 bogey to put her hot on Gal’s heels. But it’s one of the names in a tie for 3rd that really grabbed my attention, Lexi Thompson. Lexi is scorching hot right now. She’s coming in off winning the Lorena Ochoa Invitational last week, which followed her win at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia last month. The question is whether she’s just in the midst of a streak or if this portends the arrival of the LPGA’s next dominant player. Her 6 under 66 was bogey free. But as I always say when I do an opening round post, it’s just the first round. Let’s see where everybody is on Saturday before trying to prognosticate triumph for any player.

BIRDIES

Trailing Caroline Masson by 11 points in the LPGA Rookie of the Year race, Moriya Jutanugarn opened with a 2-under 70 for a 23rd place tie. Masson finished the day 1 with a 5-over 77 for a 67th place tie. A snowman (8) on the par 4 15th was her main undoing. Unfortunately, Caroline fractured her right thumb in Japan before the Mizuno Classic. The long term picture is for her to get the thumb healed. However, it sure would be a great achievement to win ROY. Ayako Uehara, who trails Masson by 90 points, has a long shot to overtake the ROY race at the finish line but she would have to win the tournament to do so.

ALL PICS CLICK TO ENLARGE

SANDRA GAL

STACY LEWIS

INBEE PARK

LYDIA KO

MICHELLE WIE

AYAKO UEHARA

LEXI THOMPSON

ANNA NORDQVIST

LIZETTE SALAS

CAROLINE MASSON

PAULA CREAMER

AI MIYAZATO

MORGAN PRESSEL

BRITTANY LINCICOME

KAREN STUPPLES

Pos Start Player ToPar Thru Today R1 R2 R3 R4 Total
1 DEU
-8 F -8 64 64
2 CAN
-7 F -7 65 65
T3 CHN
-6 F -6 66 66
T3 USA
-6 F -6 66 66
T3 SWE
-6 F -6 66 66
6 USA
-5 F -5 67 67
T7 KOR
-4 F -4 68 68
T7 USA
-4 F -4 68 68
T7 KOR
-4 F -4 68 68
T7 USA
-4 F -4 68 68
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T7 USA
-4 F -4 68 68
T7 NLD
-4 F -4 68 68
T13 KOR
-3 F -3 69 69
T13 KOR
-3 F -3 69 69
T13 USA
-3 F -3 69 69
T13 USA
-3 F -3 69 69
T13 USA
-3 F -3 69 69
T13 USA
-3 F -3 69 69
T13 JPN
-3 F -3 69 69
T13 JPN
-3 F -3 69 69
T13 FRA
-3 F -3 69 69
T13 KOR
-3 F -3 69 69
T23 AUS
-2 F -2 70 70
T23 THA
-2 F -2 70 70
T23 JPN
-2 F -2 70 70
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T23 KOR
-2 F -2 70 70
T23 USA
-2 F -2 70 70
T23 SCT
-2 F -2 70 70
T23 THA
-2 F -2 70 70
T30 USA
-1 F -1 71 71
T30 KOR
-1 F -1 71 71
T30 NZL
-1 F -1 71 71
T30 TPE
-1 F -1 71 71
T30 USA
-1 F -1 71 71
T30 KOR
-1 F -1 71 71
T30 USA
-1 F -1 71 71
T30 USA
-1 F -1 71 71
T30 USA
-1 F -1 71 71
T30 USA
-1 F -1 71 71
T40 NOR
E F E 72 72
T40 USA
E F E 72 72
T40 KOR
E F E 72 72
T40 USA
E F E 72 72
T40 ENG
E F E 72 72
T40 ESP
E F E 72 72
T40 ESP
E F E 72 72
T40 ESP
E F E 72 72
T40 SWE
E F E 72 72
T49 AUS
+1 F +1 73 73
T49 KOR
+1 F +1 73 73
T49 JPN
+1 F +1 73 73
T49 USA
+1 F +1 73 73
T49 KOR
+1 F +1 73 73
T49 USA
+1 F +1 73 73
T49 KOR
+1 F +1 73 73
T56 KOR
+2 F +2 74 74
T56 KOR
+2 F +2 74 74
T56 USA
+2 F +2 74 74
T56 USA
+2 F +2 74 74
T56 USA
+2 F +2 74 74
T56 USA
+2 F +2 74 74
T56 COL
+2 F +2 74 74
T56 SWE
+2 F +2 74 74
T64 KOR
+3 F +3 75 75
T64 KOR
+3 F +3 75 75
66 USA
+4 F +4 76 76
T67 DEU
+5 F +5 77 77
T67 KOR
+5 F +5 77 77
69 USA
+9 F +9 81
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