Thompson opens with 66 to lead Navistar


Lexi Thompson took the lead in the Navistar LPGA Classic on Thursday when she fired an opening-round 6-under 66 on the Capitol Hill Senator Course in Prattville, Ala. The round was her best of the year by a shot – one better than her third round in the Avnet LPGA Classic, Thompson’s first event of the year.

Thompson has an affinity for playing golf in Alabama, particularly this event. She opened here in 2009 with 65 that placed her a shot behind Janice Moodie for the lead.

When combined with her first round 69 last year, Thompson has a Thursday average in this event of 66.67. Thompson’s first round average is better than her opening average on any venue on tour which she has played more than once. In fact, that stroke average is her best in any round on any course on the LPGA Tour in three seasons.

The 16-year-old has struggled out of the gate this year compared with the last two years. Her 2011 first round scoring average entering Thursday was 73.86 compared with 71.29 in seven starts in 2010 and 69.33 in three events in 2009.