CINCINNATI — Ruixin Liu of China was nonetheless affected by allergic reactions that compelled her to withdraw from the LPGA Tour occasion final week. It did not cease her from posting a 7-under 65 on Thursday for her finest spherical of the yr and a one-shot lead within the Kroger Queen Metropolis Championship.
Liu began so effectively that her lone remorse was a par on the twelfth gap when she hit her strategy to 18 ft on the par 5 and three-putted for a par. She had seven birdies by 13 holes after which closed with 5 pars.
Liu reached the par-5 second gap for a two-putt birdie, made a 15-foot birdie on the following gap after which all of it felt straightforward.
“From that time on the putter is simply rolling nice,” Liu mentioned. “I just about made every little thing apart from gap No. 12. That is the one dangerous gap I performed at the moment, as a result of my second shot was solely like 18 ft for eagle and I three-putted.”
She had no complaints, particularly after a extreme allergy response brought on her to withdraw from the Portland Basic. Liu mentioned she nonetheless did not have a transparent head for the opening spherical in Cincinnati and has no thought why she performed so effectively.
“I am very glad to take it,” she mentioned.
The Queen Metropolis Championship is the ultimate LPGA occasion earlier than the Solheim Cup on Sept. 22-24 in Spain, and a number of the higher performances got here from Europe.
Emily Kristine Pedersen of Denmark and Charley Hull, a runner-up in two majors this yr, every have been at 67. Madelene Sagstrom of Sweden was at 69, together with Individuals Jennifer Kupcho and Ally Ewing, the defending champion at Kenwood.
Rose Zhang holed a 20-foot par putt on the 18th gap for a 70.
Lexi Thompson confirmed little enchancment. Thompson is having her worst yr on the LPGA Tour however nonetheless made the Solheim Cup crew by the ladies’s world rating. Thompson, who has missed 5 of her final six cuts, made double bogey on the final gap for a 73. She would wish a great rating Friday simply to make the lower.
The LPGA Tour is coming off every week that delivered one of many greatest surprises of the yr. Thai teenager Chanettee Wannasaen, a Monday qualifier who was No. 367 on the earth, received the Portland Basic.
Liu is perhaps one other shock. She is a six-time winner on the Futures Tour however has by no means completed within the high 10 on the LPGA Tour in particular person play.
She is No. 250 on the earth and her finest result’s a tie for twentieth that counts towards the rating. So it was wonderful to really feel poorly from allergic reactions and submit her low spherical of the yr.
“I do not wish to give myself an excessive amount of expectation as a result of bodily I do not really feel nice,” Liu mentioned. “So I am simply going to take a great break, attempt to sleep good, and attempt to do the identical factor tomorrow.”
It is a totally different Kenwood course from a yr in the past, when rain drenched the Kendale course and allowed participant to carry, clear and place. This yr is drier and the ball was working.
That was a giant assist to Ardina, who’s 168th in driving distance with a mean of 233 yards. However the greens are largely open in entrance, and Ardina was capable of run fairway metals onto the placing floor and convert the putts.
“To be trustworthy, I solely performed the again 9 for the observe spherical. I did not play the entrance 9, so I used to be simply sort of winging it on the market this afternoon,” Ardina mentioned. “I used to be simply making an attempt to hit fairways and greens.”