Lexi Thompson stays in hunt, tied for ninth

In an up-and-down day, Lexi Thompson shot a 1-over 73 Friday. Andy Lyons/Getty Images

KOHLER, Wis. -- Even at a distance across the rolling hills of Blackwolf Run, it was pretty easy to spot Lexi Thompson. After all, she was wearing those awesome bright turquoise shoes.

Actually, the television cameras never have a hard time finding Thompson, who at 17 is already a seasoned veteran of the U.S. Women’s Open. She’s playing in this tournament for the sixth time, and her best previous finish is a tie for 10th in 2010.

Thompson stayed in the hunt Friday to become the youngest-ever winner of this title. She shot a 1-over 73 and is in a four-way tie for ninth place at 1-under 143. That group trails leader Suzann Pettersen by four shots.

“It was sort of an up and down day,” Thompson said. “I had two doubles and a few bogeys, but I bounced back and made a few birdies. Overall it was an all right day, but sort of a roller coaster.”

Thompson, who played the back nine first, had her two double bogeys there -- on the par-3 13th hole and the par-4 18th. But she also had birdies on the 12th, 14th, 16th, 1st and 2nd holes. Bogeys came on No. 3 and her last hole of the day, No. 9.

Yep, that’s definitely a roller coaster, with a bumpy finish. But it still left Thompson in contention.

The youngest Women’s Open winner is South Korea’s Inbee Park, who was 19 years, 11 months and 17 days old when she won in 2008. Before that, the youngest winner was Se Ri Pak, who was 20 years, nine months and eight days old when she won here at Blackwolf Run in 1998.

Thompson, who turned 17 in February, would have them both beat by quite a ways. But she’ll have to be more consistent over the weekend to have a chance at the trophy.