Rookie Paula Reto Leads At Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic


Aug 15, 2014; Pittsford, NY, USA; Paula Reto hits her tee shot on the 4th hole during the second round of the Wegman

With two great rounds on her cards, Thursday’s 65 and Friday’s 66, Tour rookie Paula Reto holds the overnight lead at the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic and goes into the weekend four strokes ahead of Mi Jung Hur, her closest competitor.  Hur edged out Stacy Lewis with a birdie on the par-3 16th to grab solo 2nd place at -10 and Lewis, at -9, will start the weekend in solo 3rd.  Now, with 31 players starting the weekend within 10 strokes of Reto’s lead and scores running low at the RTJ Golf Trail Capitol Hill Senator track, the real fun begins Saturday morning at 7:40am local time.

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Paula Reto: A Closer Look

Rookie Reto played her collegiate golf at Purdue, where she closed out a successful amateur career with the 2013 Mary Fossum Award for low stroke average in the Big Ten Conference, a 3rd place finish at the NCAA Championships, and First-Team All-American designation by GWCA.  Reto played the 2013 season on the Symetra Tour and qualified for the LPGA with a T13 finish at the final qualifying tournament.

Although with a 263 yard driving average she’s long off the tee — Reto’s ranked 7th on the Tour in driving distance — and ranked 8th in putting average, Paula Reto had a rough start to her rookie season on the Tour.  She missed 11 cuts out of the first 12 events she entered.  But by late summer she was playing the weekend and everything seemed to come together for her at the Portland Classic, where she shot a career-low 67 and finished T9.

Now she’s set another personal best with her Thursday round in Alabama!

As the Tour enters the final push, Reto has adjusted to life as a professional, is getting more comfortable with life on the Tour, and sees progress.  

The Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic is the final tournament with a cut before the Asian swing and CME Group Tour Championship, and with smaller fields, players on the bubble need to take advantage of this weekend.  Reto is one of the players that could be greatly impacted this week if she has a strong finish.

"It’s important obviously but I’m not trying to think about it too much . . .  If it goes either way I’m going to be happy . . .  I’m just going to have fun out here and just do the best I can and I’m glad I’m playing a little bit better now than before. – Paula Reto"

This weekend will test Reto.  If she remains in contention, her season could be unexpectedly extended.

Heading Into The Weekend

With Stacy Lewis coming into the weekend four shots off the lead, Reto can’t relax and neither can anybody else.  Lewis had some problems getting onto the putting surface during the 2nd round, but she’s likely to get that sorted out before Saturday’s 3rd round.

Christina Kim has posted two solid rounds, as have Brittany Lincicome and Brittany Lang, two of Lewis’s 2013 Solheim Cup teammates.  They’ll all be keeping an eye on the top of the board on Saturday.

Cristie Kerr poured on the heat and edged up above the cut line during her back 9 on Friday, but Lexi Thompson, who’s suffering from a neck injury, was playing in obvious discomfort.  Thompson missed the cut, something that just doesn’t occur very often.