Stephanie Meadow shot an impressive bogey free round of four-under-par to sit three shots off the lead at the Kroger Queen City Championship in Cincinnati Ohio.
Meadow was looking to bounce back from missed cuts and a slight loss of form and she sparked into life with three birdies in a row from the 14th hole on her front nine. She added another birdie on the first, her tenth and the Northern Irish woman parred her way in for a 68 to sit just outside the top 20 and in touching distance with the leader.
Ruixin Liu holds the first-round lead, the first post-round lead she has ever held in her five seasons on the LPGA Tour and the People’s Republic of China golfer tied her career-low round on Tour with a Thursday seven-under-par 65, which was highlighted by seven birdies in her first 13 holes. It is her low round of the 2023 season and just her fifth individual round in the 60’s this year.
She followed her par save on the first with two straight birdies on 2 and 3, added two more on 6 and 7 and made the turn in 31 with an additional birdie on 9. On the back nine, she made birdie on 11 and 13 before ending the round with five pars in a row.
“On the second hole, was a reachable par-5 so I hit my 3-wood on the green in two and it was like 18 yards, two-putt. And then I made I think 15 feet on the third hole, and from that point on the putter is just rolling great,” said Liu, though she believes she left one birdie out there.
“I pretty much made everything except for hole No. 12. That’s the only bad hole I played today, because my second shot was only like 18 feet from the hole for eagle and I three-putted that one.”
Four players sit one stroke behind Liu at T2. Filipina golfer Dottie Ardina made seven birdies in her first ten holes to tie Liu’s lead with eight left to play, but a bogey on 12 and a string of six pars put her in the clubhouse with a 6-under 66.
Swede Linnea Strom and Chinese Taipei golfer Peiyun Chien shot similar rounds to Ardina, with seven birdies and one bogey on the card putting them in a tie for second on the leaderboard, and in birdies or better along with Liu and Emily Kristine Pedersen.
Defending champion Ally Ewing finished at T20 after shooting a 3-under 69 during the first round.
Stephanie Meadow gets her second round underway at 8.25am local time, 1.25pm Irish time off the first tee.