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Alex in rare air as co-leader

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LANCASTER, Pa. – Marina Alex picked a good time of the year to find her swing.

The second-year LPGA member shot a 4-under-par 66 Thursday to grab a share of the clubhouse lead with Karrie Webb in the suspended first round of the U.S. Women’s Open.

Alex, 24, a second-year LPGA pro from New Jersey, has never led after any round of an LPGA event, but she looked like a world-beater at Lancaster Country Club. She hit every fairway but one and every green but one. It’s strong confirmation her swing changes are working.

“I've been working on some stuff with my coach,” Alex said. “It’s just hard when you're trying to work on some things and playing, to just swing freely, and go out there and not worry. Now that I've put some of these changes into play a little more often, I just feel more comfortable.”

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Alex went to work with Ian Triggs as her new swing coach at year’s start. There have been challenges. She missed five cuts in a row before tying for 53rd at the KPMG Women’s Championship last month and then tying for ninth two weeks ago at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. That equaled Alex’s best finish in her 42 career LPGA starts.

How’s Alex feel holding her first lead?

“I'm not a frontrunner for this tournament, really,” Alex said. “I'm just going to go out there and have fun tomorrow with my caddie and just keep doing the things that we've been doing and just see where that puts me. There’s really not a lot of expectation.”