Lee-Anne Pace will go into the weekend of the year’s first major, the ANA Inspiration, one shot off the lead of Lexi Thompson and Ai Miyazato.
Pace, who won three events in South Africa between January and February, shot 70 on Friday to join a six-way tie for third place that included Suzann Pettersen and world number one Lydia Ko.
Thompson, who is the defending champion, made a lone bogey at the eighth and rang up three consecutive birdies from the 12th to the 14th. A birdie at the 18th earned the 21-year-old a round of 68 and a share of the midway lead on seven-under-par.
‘Yeah, 18 is one of the best finishing holes that we have out here, but to hear the crowds cheer making that putt is definitely a good feeling,’ she said. ‘Gives me chills every time.’
Pace was right there with the world’s best and drained a 19 foot putt at the last to total six-under-par after two rounds. (Video below)
There is a winner’s tradition of jumping into Poppy’s Pond, a water hazard next to the 18th green. No doubt the players have all dreamed of taking the plunge, and two rounds remain.