Hall takes three-shot lead in Oregon

Oregon, United States: England’s Georgia Hall surged into a three-shot lead at the halfway stage of the LPGA Tour’s Cambia Portland Classic on Friday, firing a nine-under-par 63 on another day of low scoring in Oregon. The 22-year-old newly minted British Open champion played flawlessly in a bogey-free round which included nine birdies and nine pars at the Columbia Edgewater Country Club. Hall, who had shot a six-under-par 66 on Thursday, made her move on the back nine, unfurling a string of five consecutive birdies from the 12th hole to vault up the leaderboard.
At one stage Hall was 10 shots clear of her playing partners, and she later admitted she had been determined to keep building her advantage as a series of long putts kept dropping in for birdie. “I just thought, I just want to keep going. I want to get as far ahead of the others as I can,” Hall said. “I love this golf course. It’s very nice to play. It’s in great condition, so I look forward to the weekend and seeing what I can do.”
Hall’s scintillating round left her on 15 under heading into the weekend, three shots clear of her nearest rival, Australia’s Minjee Lee, who carded a four-under-par 68 to stay in touch.
Lee’s round might have been better had it not been a pair of bogeys on the back and front nine which checked her progress.
Four off the pace on 11 under are Megan Khang and first round leader Marina Alex. Alex had lit up the opening day with a majestic 10-under-par 62 but found the going harder on Friday with a one-under-par 71. “It was just not as exciting as yesterday,” Alex said. “I just really didn’t make anything. They weren’t bad strokes or putts, they just didn’t go in.”
Canada’s Brooke Henderson, fresh from her victory in the Canadian Open last weekend, also found the going harder following her opening 64. Henderson went round in 71 to stay at nine under, six shots off the lead. Henderson dropped shots early on with back-to-back bogeys in the early part of her round before clawing her way back under par with four birdies and only one more bogey.
“Kind of got off to a shaky start, two bogeys right back-to-back and I just kind of fought the rest of the day to kind of get it under par,” she said. “So I’m happy with one under.” — AFP