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Lexi Thompson shot a 9-under-par 63 on Thursday to take a one-shot lead over Sandra Gal and Kris Tamulis in the LPGA Tour’s inaugural Indy Women in Tech Championship in Indianapolis.
Thompson had 11 birdies and two bogeys to fall a stroke short of the Brickyard Crossing scoring record set by Mike McCullough in the PGA Tour Champions’ 1999 Comfort Classic.
‘‘It was quite the early morning, so it was a bit cold on the range and struggled a bit on the range, but I just hit a few good drivers at the end,’’ Thompson said. ‘‘I just committed to one thing going into the round and I think that’s what made my day a lot easier on me. I just stuck to my routine and committed to my golf shots.’’
Gal, like Thompson, started her morning round on the back nine, which features four holes inside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Gal hit 12 of 14 fairways in regulation in her bogey-free round.
‘‘It’s cool, it’s funky. I really do like the course,’’ Gal said. ‘‘I think it has really good challenges off the tee and the greens, and it’s cool being inside the track. It gets a little bit windy in there actually. It’s just so big, it’s unbelievable to be in there.’’
Tamulis had the best afternoon score with four birdies on each side.
Thompson, ranked No. 3 in the world, tied for 21st last week in Portland, Ore., in her first event since the Solheim Cup — where she overcame a big deficit in her closing singles match against Anna Nordqvist to earn a half-point for the winning Americans.
‘‘I would say that round definitely gave me the confidence that I can make those birdies if I just let it go and fire at pins and commit to my shots and don’t doubt it,’’ Thompson said. ‘‘That’s how golf is. Golf is a lot about confidence and just committing to yourself and believing in yourself, something I'm learning along the way.’’
Taking advantage of the wide fairways and forgiving greens softened by overnight rain, Thompson birdied three of the first five holes. She had seven birdies and a bogey in an eight-hole stretch from No. 17 to No. 6, and rebounded from a bogey on No. 8 with a birdie on No. 9.
The 32-year-old Gal needed a little more time to get started. After opening with five straight pars, the German player birdied six of the next seven holes and closed with two more birdies at Nos. 5 and 9.
Lydia Ko, winless in more than a year, was two shots back at 65 along with Moriya Jutanugarn.
Nanna Koerstz Madsen and Amy Olson shot 66, and Cristie Kerr and Brooke Henderson topped the group at 67.
European — Miguel Angel Jimenez fired a 6-under 64 to join a three-way tie for the lead after the first round of the European Masters in Crans-Montana, Switzerland.
The 53-year-old Jimenez had seven birdies and a single bogey on the picturesque Swiss Alps course to share the top of the leaderboard with Tyrrell Hatton and Scott Hend.
Jimenez also competes on the senior tour and already holds the European Tour record as the oldest winner. At 50, his 2014 Spanish Open title was his 21st on the tour.
Six players were one shot behind the leaders.
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