There are a lot of female golfers having great seasons, but Stacy Lewis is doing it on the biggest stage against the toughest competition while playing the most consistently excellent golf. She didn't have a particularly great ball-striking day by her standards yesterday to kick off the Reignwood LPGA Classic, but took only 24 putts on her way to a bogey-free 66. Today, she responded to an opening bogey with 6 birdies the rest of the way, including 3 in her last 6 holes, to move to -12 and dare the field to catch her.
So far only Brittany Lang has really responded to Lewis's challenge. Her bogey-free 66 crammed 7 birdies into her last 12 holes. It's that kind of burst that's required to keep up with the world #1 these days, and yet Lang is still 2 back at the halfway point. Speaking of bursts, Suzann Pettersen birdied 4 of her last 5 holes to post a bogey-free 66 of her own and move within 6 of Lewis after a forgettable 1st day. We'll have to see if LPGA newbies Caroline Masson (7-birdie 68) and Mirim Lee (bogey-free 68) can keep the pedal to the metal; they moved within 4 of the lead, catching Caroline Hedwall (4-birdie 71) and Belen Mozo (5-birdie 69) at -8. Meanwhile, So Yeon Ryu finally woke up, with 5 birdies in her last 13 holes and 3 in her last 4, but she's 7 off the pace, as are Inbee Park and Chella Choi, while Mi Jung Hur (-2), Ya Ni Tseng (-2), Na Yeon Choi (E), and defending champion Shanshan Feng (E) are even further behind.
So huge advantage to Lewis heading into the weekend in Beijing. She's got a big lead on the biggest names chasing her while putting the pressure on those closest to her. I don't see any reason she won't continue making at least 5 birdies a round. She hasn't missed a fairway all week, she has taken only 51 putts in 36 holes, and she's talking like she has history in her sights. A solid weekend allows her to extend her lead on the money list and in the Player of the Year race and Race to the CME Globe. The time is certainly ripe for Lewis to rack up even more Hall of Fame points. Can anyone stop her?