PITTSFORD, N.Y. (AP) — It had been so long that Brittany Lincicome didn't quite know what to think about her spot atop the LPGA Championship leaderboard.
Lincicome opened a three-stroke lead Friday in the wind-swept tournament, the LPGA Tour's fourth major championship of the season, as Americans moved into position for their fourth straight major victory of the year.
"I feel like I've been doing a lot of really good things," Lincicome said. "I feel like I've been playing really well, driving it far, which is awesome. But it's just not coming together."
It has at Monroe Golf Club. The long-hitting Lincicome followed her opening 67 with a 68 to reach 9 under as she chases her first title since 2011. She won the 2009 Kraft Nabisco for her lone major title and has five LPGA Tour victories.
Lexi Thompson, tied for the first-round lead with Meena Lee, dropped into a tie for second with defending champion Inbee Park of South Korea. Thompson had a 72, and Park shot 66.
That gave the United States two players at the top with majors already on the trophy shelf.
"It's a great leaderboard so far," said Thompson, who won the Kraft Nabisco to start the major run. "Today was a little more difficult than yesterday. Just didn't hit it as well, but I did make some good putts, so I'm going to take a positive out of it."
It's the first time Americans have won the first three majors since 1999, and they haven't won four since 1992. Michelle Wie won the U.S. Women's Open, and Mo Martin surged to victory in the final round at the Women's British Open. A fifth major, the Evian Championship in France, was added last year.
Seventeen-year-old Lydia Ko of New Zealand had a 69 to join Lee, from South Korea, and Jane Park at 5 under. Lee had a 73, and Park shot 69.
Top-ranked Stacy Lewis sputtered again with a 1-over 73 to finish the two rounds at even par.
Lincicome had an eagle and three birdies to go with one bogey for her second solid day. She averaged 277.5 yards off the tee on the two measured holes and needed only 26 putts for the second straight day.
"It's been incredible," Lincicome said. "I haven't been here in a while, especially in a major."
Thompson reached 8 under after a birdie at the par-5 14th hole but followed with bogeys at Nos. 8 and 9 to drop into a tie with Lincicome at the turn.
Lincicome, who started the day one shot off the lead, birdied the par-5 12th hole to gain a one-shot advantage while Inbee Park slowly clawed her way back into contention after shooting even par on the first day.
Park had two birdies and chipped in from a greenside bunker for an eagle on her first five holes on the back side, and three birdies in the first three holes on the front put her at 6 under.
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