Long-hitting, longtime friends Mel Reid and Carlota Ciganda lead at Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational

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Mel Reid and Carlota Ciganda hold the clubhouse lead at the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational with their self-described “C” games.

While some partnerships were thrown together at the last minute, Reid and Ciganda have known each other more than half their lives. Reid was 14 and Ciganda was 12 when they first met playing golf around Europe. They were first Junior Solheim Cup teammates and then partners in the grown-up Solheim, too. The two friends often share Airbnbs on tour.

“We were always kind of close growing up because she was like European No. 1 and I was basically trying to catch up with her,” said Reid. “… we used to have fun the last nights of tournaments. I used to get her in trouble, which I’m sure people are very shocked by that.”

The aggressive Reid and Ciganda shot 6-under 64 in Thursday’s fourball format, putting them at 10 under for the tournament and one shot ahead of Lydia Ko and Danielle Kang.

“I think the key is we feel ourselves,” said Ciganda. “I can be Carlota, she can be Mel, and we just play and we have no issues, no pressure. We just hit it, find it, hit it again, and at the end of the day we have a score.”

Reid went so far as to say that she actually enjoys it when Ciganda, known as “Chiggy,” hits a bad shot because it makes her feel human.

“If she hits it in the trees, I quite like seeing that shot,” said Reid. “I think that’s what makes us a pretty good team and a strong chemistry.”

Ciganda said it was her roommate in college, Guilia Molinaro, who gave her the name “Chiggy” or “Chig.” The Italian pronounced her last name “Chiganda.”

Ko and Kang, two other longtime friends known as “Sisters from Another Mister” this week, had a lot of laughs and a lot of celebratory shimmies in their second-round 63.

“The last hole putt was my highlight because I never wanted to make a putt more for Lydia in my life than that last hole because I kept missing,” said Kang. “I was like, I have to make this: ‘Lydia, it’s good!’ She had my back today. I asked her if her back hurts from carrying me all day.”

When asked about the origin of the shimmies, Ko said all the cool ideas come from Kang.

“We tried to come up with a handshake,” said Kang, “but it seems really natural. When she makes a birdie, I just want her to be happy and excited.”

Four teams are in the clubhouse at 8 under including Lexi Thompson/Nasa Hataoka, Eun-Hee Ji/Hyo Koo Kim, Alison Lee/Lindsey Weaver and Brittany Lincicome/Brittany Lang.

“I think golf needs more events like this,” said Thompson.