I was looking to make birdie on the last and get the ball to barely roll over the first hill, but it went in and that was definitely a bonus, said the 14-year-old Thompson, who is competing in her fourth Junior PGA Championship.
Kramer Hickok of Plano, Texas, playing in his first Junior PGA Championship, fired an opening round 67 to lead the boys division by a stroke over T.J. Vogel of Cooper City, Fla., Matthew Ceravolo of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Lexus Keoninh of Murfreesboro, Tenn., and Robby Prater of Birmingham, Ala.
Hickok shot a 31 on his front nine, highlighted by five birdies.
I am so confident and I have been playing great the last two weeks, said Hickok, who tied for 19th at the 2009 FootJoy Invitational. I actually set my low score (64) three days before coming here and knew I could come out and shoot a low round and contend.
Thompson opened the day with a bogey on her first hole, but rebounded with four birdies and the closing eagle for a 5-under 67.
I changed my swing in the last two days a lot, Thompson said. I was playing the ball really far back in my stance and now I am putting it far up and putting some tilt on it. I actually know where the ball is going now.
Junior Ryder Cup teammate Sarah Brown of Philipsburg, N.J., and Jaye Marie Green of Boca Raton, Fla., both shot an opening round 68 and were one stroke behind. Defending champion Danielle Frasier of Encinitas, Calif., shot a 70 and sat in a tie for fifth.
Anthony Paolucci of Dallas, the defending champion in the boys division, carded an opening round 71 and is in 13th place.
Ill take that score today, but it could have been better, he said. I left a lot of shots out there and I still only missed three greens all day.
The 72-hole tournament features a 54-hole cut to the low 30 boys and 30 girls, including ties, following the third round of play on Thursday.
This years field consists of past winners of the championship, PGA section winners, many of Polo Golf and Golfweeks top-ranked players, and selected national junior tournament winners.
Also at stake is a berth on the 2010 U.S. Junior Ryder Cup Team. The champion for each division, provided they are a member of the 2011 or later graduating class, will be exempt to the Junior Ryder Cup next year in Scotland.