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Ariya Maintains Edge at Kingsmill


Even though she carded an even-par 71 Friday, Ariya Jutanugarn retained her lead in the Kingsmill Championship. The $1.3 million, 72-hole LPGA Tour event began Thursday on the River Course at Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Va.

After firing a 7-under 64 in the opening round, the 17-year-old from Thailand is still atop the leaderboard at 7-under 135. But two Americans - Stacy Lewis and Angela Stanford - both carded 68s and are only a stroke back.

Playing on a sponsor's exemption, Jutanugarn - whose sister Moriya is also in the field, has been one of the hottest women golfers this year. The rookie on the Ladies European Tour leads that circuit's Order of Merit thanks to a win in Morocco and a T-2 in the Volvik RACV Ladies Masters. In only three events on the LPGA Tour, she's finished second, fourth and third. If Jutanugarn was a regular LPGA member, she'd be ranked eighth on the season's money list with $328,643.

Two behind the leader are Germany's Sandra Gal (69), Norway's Suzann Pettersen (69) and two-time Kingsmill winner Cristie Kerr (71). China's Shanshan Feng (69), South Koreans Ilhee Lee (69) and So Yeon Ryu (71), Japan's Ai Miyazato (70) and Americans Juli Inkster (69) and Katie Burnett (7) share seventh at 138.

Paula Creamer, who lost on the ninth sudden-death playoff hole last year to Jiyai Shin, is tied for 13th at 139 with five others. Shin posted a 72 and is in T-27 at 142 with several others.

The cut was established at 3-over 145. Among those eligible for the weekend is Moriya Jutanugarn, who's shot rounds of 73 and 70.

Among the players heading home is Michelle Wie, who carded two straight 2-over 73s, and veteran Laura Davies (71, 76).

For all the scores, visit http://www.lpgascoring.com/public/Leaderboard.