Everything went Marina Alex’s way, but she knows she could have been even better.
Alex was the clubhouse leader at the LPGA Manulife Classic and held on through the afternoon session after firing a tournament-best eight-under 64 on Friday morning, topping the leaderboard at 10-under par.
Although she easily out-paced the field, the American felt she could have been even better.
“Just kind of everything fell together, ball striking, putting,” said a smiling Alex. “I actually left a couple of putts out there, but I mean I’m not going to complain about the score that I shot.”
Despite feeling like she’d left some shots out on the course at Whistle Bear Golf Club, Alex wrapped up her round with an exclamation mark, sinking an eagle on the par-five ninth hole.
“This I think is the lowest I’ve shot out on the LPGA,” Alex said after leaving the scorer’s tent. “I don’t know about prior. Maybe. But definitely the best round I’ve played in a long time.”
Alex sits a shot ahead of Thailand’s P.K. Kongkraphan (66) and South Korea’s Hyo Joo Kim (67).
Kongkraphan, who was the LPGA’s rookie of the year in 2012, says that she’s seeing improved results after changing her support team and her irons.
“I feel very comfortable and very confident this week,” Kongkraphan said. “My coach is here. I just changed coach last couple months, and also implemented a [new customized iron].
“From last week I have so much more confidence.”
South Korea’s Mi Hyang Lee (67) is alone at eight under. The first round was marred by strong winds, but Lee said calmer conditions made the second round at Whistle Bear Golf Club easier.
“Less wind, and the greens are in better condition,” Lee said. “So just everything is a perfect game. I missed a short putt on the last hole, but that’s just one miss.”
Hamilton’s Alena Sharp (70) was the low Canadian for the second day in a row at five under to tie for 12th.
Maude-Aimée Leblanc (71) of Sherbrooke, Que., is tied for 22nd, while Anne Catherine Tanguay (71) of Quebec City and Olympian Brooke Henderson (71) of Smiths Falls, Ont., are in a group tied for 31st. All three made the one-under cut.
“It’s always good for Canadians to make the cut,” Sharp said. “Not really thinking about being low Canadian. ”I want to do well, be in contention for the weekend, so I feel like I did a good job the last couple of days, and it’s tough in the wind. So I was happy with how I hit it.“
Amateur Maddie Szeryk (72) of London, Ont., and Calgary’s Jennifer Ha (74) both finished at one-over par. Amateur Josee Doyon (74) of St. Georges-de-Beauce, Que., was two over.
Jennifer Kirby (73) of Paris, Ont., and Charlottetown’s Lorie Kane (78) finished at four over,
Vivian Tsui (75) of Markham, Ont., sat at five over, Samantha Richdale (77) of Kelowna, B.C., was eight over, Nicole Vandermade (77) of Brantford, Ont., was nine over and amateur Selena Costabile (78) of Thornhill, Ont., finished 15 over.
Spain’s Belen Mozo, who looked to be the first-round leader on Thursday but for a triple bogey on the 18th hole, missed the cut after further struggles. She shot a five-over 77 including a double bogey and four bogeys in her back nine.
Reigning champion Suzann Pettersen (71) is tied for 22nd at four under.Report Typo/Error