ONEIDA, Wis. (AP) – Sei Young Kim birdied her first four holes Friday to shoot a 7-under 65 and surge to the lead after the second round of the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic.
Kim was at 16-under 128 – tied for the tour’s lowest of the season – and four shots ahead of Yu Liu. Kim could have had a much bigger lead but missed makeable birdie putts on her 14th, 16th, 17th and 18th holes.
“The first hole, my second shot was a tap-in birdie,” Kim said. “After that, every hole I got it close to the pin. I had a lot of birdie opportunities. It was perfect weather so, every hole, I could attack the pin.”
Liu made the big move of the day with a 9-under 63 to grab sole possession of second place. It was the lowest score of her career. She jump-started her round with an eagle on the par-5 third, with her 3-wood from about 245 yards stopping 15 feet from the flag, then birdied four of the next six holes.
“I wasn’t hitting it too spectacular but I was rolling a lot of putts in,” said Liu, who needed only 24 putts. “I knew there were birdie opportunities out there.”
Defending champion Katherine Kirk, who had a one-shot led after a 10-under 62 in the first round, couldn’t get her putting going, though, and settled for 71. She is one of five players who are five shots off the pace at 133.
While Kirk hit 16 of 18 greens in regulation, she managed only two birdies and needed 33 putts.
“Front nine, I just couldn’t get one to drop, and back nine, hit lots of good putts and, again, nothing happened,” Kirk said. “Overall, I’m happy with how today went. I was very patient. I hit a lot of greens. That’s all you can do.”
Sung Hyun Park, who won her second career major at last week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and could have moved to No. 1 in the world rankings with a win, missed the cut by five shots at 1-over 145.
The cut was 4-under, one shot off the lowest cut line in LPGA history.