Lexi Thompson is cruising halfway through the first stage of LPGA Qualifying School at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Thompson, the 16-year-old pro from Coral Springs, Fla., posted her second straight 6-under-par 66 Wednesday and had the clubhouse lead when the second round was suspended due to bad weather.
At 12 under, Thompson’s five shots ahead of Japan’s Mitsuki Katahira (68), who’s No. 3 in the women’s world amateur rankings. Hawaii’s Stephanie Kono, another amateur and member of UCLA’s national champions this year, opened with a 65 but was among 60 players still on the course Wednesday when play was suspended for the day. Amateurs don’t have to declare themselves pros until the final stage of Q-School is complete.
Ginger Howard, 17, an IMG Golf Academy student who turned pro earlier this summer, shot 67 and is tied for third, five shots behind Thompson. Both teens are playing under special permission from the LPGA commissioner. LPGA rules require members be at least 18 years old.
After the suspended second round is completed Thursday, a cut of the 150-player field will be made to the low 70 scores and ties. The low 50 and ties after 72 holes advance to second stage.