Day, Ko shine, Lexi makes ace at Grant Thornton

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By Calvin S. Nelson

NAPLES, Fla. — Jason Day and Lydia Ko shot 31 on the again 9 within the harder foursomes format Saturday, giving them a 6-under 66 for a two-shot lead within the Grant Thornton Invitational, the primary mixed-team occasion since 1999.

Greater than posting 5 birdies on the again 9 at Tiburon, Day and Ko managed to keep away from errors that held so many different groups again.

They have been at 20-under 144, two away from Lucas Glover and Leona Maguire (69) and Tony Finau and Nelly Korda (70).

“I feel the largest factor in foursomes is to maintain the ball in play,” Day stated. “My private objective was to only get it down the green, hold it in play. … Lydia, she’s been a strong rock for the group.”

Rickie Fowler and Lexi Thompson put collectively a dynamic again 9 of their very own, highlighted by Thompson making a hole-in-one on the par-3 sixteenth gap, the ball taking one hop and disappearing into the outlet.

However in addition they had bogeys on two of the par 5s. 4 birdies and Thompson’s ace gave them a 31 on the again for a 68, leaving them 4 pictures behind with the Canadian group of Corey Conners and Brooke Henderson (69) and Nick Taylor and Angel Yin (70).

Sahith Theegala and Rose Zhang have been tied with the Finau-Korda group till Zhang pulled her drive on the eleventh gap, the ball bouncing off the cart path and into the hazard for a one-shot penalty. Finau missed a 10-foot putt they usually made double bogey and by no means fairly recovered. They didn’t make one other birdie, took one other double bogey on No. 15 and shot 74, leaving them eight pictures behind.

Finau and Korda additionally fell again. They have been within the lead many of the day. However on the par-5 14th, Finau flubbed a troublesome chip properly beneath the inexperienced, Korda’s pitch ran 8 ft by they usually took a bogey. On the ultimate gap, Korda missed the inexperienced right into a bunker after which did not convert on a 6-foot par putt to fall two behind.

Day and Ko birdied 4 of their final six holes, together with each par 5s and a brief birdie on the sixteenth that gave up low scoring with a entrance proper pin.

Thompson had 158 yards and went two golf equipment all the way down to a 7-iron, shifting again on the tee and taking slightly off the membership into the breeze. Regardless of the math, it was an ideal calculation and a very good swing, and it added to an ace.

“A tremendous expertise,” Thompson stated.

The blended groups — one PGA Tour, one from the LPGA — is the primary such occasion for the reason that JC Penney Basic in 1999.

The ultimate spherical is modified fourballs, new to the occasion. Each gamers hit tee pictures, they usually change golf balls for the second shot and every play the ball till conclusion.

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