Walshe takes first-round lead in LPGA Marathon Classic

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


SYLVANIA, Ohio -- Allison Walshe fired a first-round 65 on Thursday at the LPGA Marathon Classic to grab a one-shot lead at Highland Meadows Golf Club.
After Walshe worked on improving her putting with coach Joe Hallett, she had one of her best days of the year on the greens, needing just 22 putts in the opening 18 holes. She had 11 one-putts en route to eight birdies and a chip-in at the 14th hole.
Paula Creamer, 18-year-old Lexi Thompson and Jessica Shepley were tied for second at 5-under-par 66.
Inbee Park, the world's No. 1 ranked player and winner of her last three tournaments, was in a group of five at 4-under 67.
Park, who started on the back nine, parred her first seven holes before making a birdie at the par-5 17th. She found a groove on the front nine and had birdies at Nos. 5, 7 and 9 to gain some momentum heading into the second round on Friday.
Defending champion So Yeon Ryo shot a 68 and was tied for 10th.
Creamer appeared to be on her way to tying for the lead or even taking over first place with a birdie to go 5 under with five holes remaining.
After a bogey halted her charge up the leader board, she bounced back with a birdie at the par-3 sixth - her 15th hole of the day -- to get back to within one of the lead. On the final hole, Creamer stuck her approach about 10 feet from the cup but missed the putt and her chance to tie for the lead when the ball rolled by the left side of the hole.
Thompson -- playing in her first Marathon Classic -- bogeyed her first two holes but drained seven birdies during her final 16 holes without dropping another shot.
Shepley played steady golf. Her lone bogey came at No. 11. She birdied Nos.13, 14, 15 and 17 down the stretch to close in on Walshe.