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HomeSportsGolfLPGA News: Ally Ewing, Jennifer Kupcho part of three-team tie for Dow...

LPGA News: Ally Ewing, Jennifer Kupcho part of three-team tie for Dow lead

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Ally Ewing and Jennifer Kupcho carded an eagle on their way to a 6-under 64 to join a three-team tie for first place after one round of the Dow Championship on Thursday in Midland, Mich.

The all-Thailand team of Chanettee Wannasaen and Jaravee Boonchant and two top-12 players in the world, Ruoning Yin of China and Atthaya Thitikul of Thailand, joined Ewing and Kupcho at 64 after their first round at Midland Country Club.

The only official team event on the LPGA schedule, the Dow Championship had players compete in foursomes (alternate shot) on Thursday and will do so again Saturday. The field will play four-ball (best ball) in the second and final rounds.

Ewing and Kupcho started their day on the back nine and birdied the 11th and 12th holes before a run of pars. After a birdie at No. 18 and a bogey at the first, they went birdie-eagle at the next two holes for a jolt.

“We’re both pretty consistent,” Ewing said. “Just kind of trusting each other and knowing our games and able to roll in some putts, and certainly a 3 on a par-5 is always going to help, with only two out here.”

Kupcho, a onetime major champion, said she sees every hole at Midland as a birdie hole. She’s playing with Ewing, who is on the biggest heater of her career with three straight top-five finishes, including at two majors.

“I asked her about 20 times,” Kupcho said of teaming up with Ewing, “and then she finally said yes.”

“We have played (the) Solheim (Cup). We’ve never played together, so it’s been fun kind of knowing that our games are very similar to put them up together,” Ewing said.

Boonchant and Wannasaen had the only bogey-free card among the trio at the top.

“We hit many fairways, many greens, give ourselves … a lot of opportunity to make birdies,” Boonchant said. “With (Wannasaen’s) putting, she’s like rolling everything. I think most of our birdies come from her.”

Yin and Thitikul also started on the back nine and rang up six birdies and a bogey for a 5-under 30. They added one final birdie at the par-3 seventh hole to get to 6 under.

“(Thitikul’s) putter is just so hot. You don’t want to touch that. It’s getting hot,” Yin joked. “My job was just to hit a shot, just make sure the ball is on the green, and she’ll make everything. It’s pretty fun.”

Two teams are one off the pace at 5-under 65: Americans Jennifer Chang and Annie Park, and Taiwan’s Ssu-Chia Cheng and Wei-Ling Hsu.

Lexi Thompson is playing with Brooke M. Henderson of Canada, and the pair also eagled the par-5 third Thursday en route to a bogey-free, 4-under 66. They’re tied for sixth with Englishwomen Charley Hull and Georgia Hall, as well as Yealimi Noh and South Korea’s A Lim Kim.

–Field Level Media

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