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Ace helps Pauline Roussin, Dewi Weber take lead at team event

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Pauline Roussin-Bouchard of France tees off on 11 at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif., Thursday, March 31, 2022.
Credit: Andy Abeyta/The Desert Sun / USA TODAY NETWORK

Pauline Roussin used a hole-in-one Thursday to help herself and teammate Dewi Weber shoot a 9-under 61 and grab sole possession of the lead after two rounds of the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational at Midland, Mich.

Roussin of France and Weber of the Netherlands, who shared the first-round lead with Swedes Annika Sorenstam and Madelene Sagstrom, opened a three-shot cushion over Jennifer Kupcho and Lizette Salas (61) at 11 under in the four-round team event at Midland Country Club.

“It was just a perfect yardage,” Roussin, an LPGA rookie, said of her ace on the par-3 seventh hole. “I had to hit a really good one to get it out there. I guess it drew the perfect way and it had backspin the perfect way, and it went in.”

The event is being contested by two-player teams. The first and third rounds will be played in foursomes (alternate shot) while the second and fourth rounds will be fourball (best-ball). Scores were lower Thursday as the field played the easier of the two formats.

Sarah Jane Smith of Australia and Mariajo Uribe of Colombia recorded the fourth 59 in the tournament’s three-year history (there has also been one 58). They made 11 birdies, including eight on the back nine. It was a vast improvement over their first-round 74, getting them to 7 under for the tournament and into a tie for 16th.

“I think genuinely it’s the most fun I’ve had on the golf course,” Smith said. “I always love playing with Mariajo. To have her on my team today was extra fun.”

Five teams were tied for third at 10 under: Matilda Castren of Finland and Kelly Tan of Malaysia (61 Thursday), Sarah Kemp of Australia and Alena Sharp of Canada (61), Tiffany Chan of Hong Kong and Haeji Kang of South Korea (62), Jodie Ewart Shadoff of England and Emma Talley (64) and Thai duo Pornanong Phatlum and Pavarisa Yoktuan (64).

Sorenstam, 51, is playing just her third LPGA Tour event in the past 13 years since retiring in 2008. The 10-time major winner and her teammate recovered from a bogey at the second hole to shoot a 4-under 66, falling into a tie for eighth at 9 under.

“It’s nice to be back out here on the LPGA,” Sorenstam said. “I never played this format. I really like this format, and, of course, playing with Madelene and it’s a highlight. She’s one of the upcoming stars and has done so well.”

Sisters Nelly and Jessica Korda shot a 63 to move into a tie for 12th at 8 under.

The top 35 teams and ties made the cut of 5 under or better. Lexi Thompson and Brittany Altomare missed the cut by one shot despite a 65 on Friday. Thai sisters Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn, the defending champs, also missed the cut at 3 under.

–Field Level Media