Thompson leads by one over Germany’s Sandra Gal and American Kris Tamulis but the highlight of the day was arguably the return to form of New Zealander Lydia Ko whose afternoon round of 7 under 65 has her just two from Thompson’s lead.
Ko, who has slipped from the top of the world rankings at the beginning of the year to 8th, was bogey-free and the return to form could not have come at a better time.
The 20-year-old will lead the field at the New Zealand Women’s Open in three weeks’ time where much of the pre-event promotion has been on her role as the figurehead for the tournament and to find form at this point will be a great relief for not only Ko but for event organisers in her homeland.
Katherine Kirk and Sarah Kemp lead the Australians after their opening rounds of 68 to be tied for 19th position.
For Kemp, this will be her second to last attempt at regaining her LPGA Tour status for 2018. The 32-year-old has a start this week and in the New Zealand Women’s Open and is currently almost US$73,000 behind the all-important 100th ranked player on the LPGA money list.
Of the other Australians, Minjee Lee had 69, Sarah Jane Smith 71 and Su Oh 75.
For Thompson, however, it was a continuation of what has been a magnificent season in which she has won the Kingsmill Championship and been four times runner-up in a year marred by her disastrous penalty at the ANA Inspiration. She is currently the second highest world ranked female golfer and is 3rd on this year's LPGA Tour money list behind Sung Hyun Park and So Yeon Ryu.