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Kim takes four shot lead into weekend

By Murray Gleffe

Correspondent


HOBART-South Korean Sei Young Kim followed up her opening round of 63 with a 65 in round number two.

The 128 total ties the lowest 36-hole total (Jessica Korda-Honda LPGA Thailand) on tour in 2018.

Surprisingly, the round could have been even lower.

She started the round with four straight birdies but then uncharacteristically made a double bogey on the par-3 17th hole.

She came back and made three birdies to shoot 33 coming home.

However, four misses on the back nine from eight feet and in kept her from going extremely low on the day.

“My second shot on the first hole was like a tap in birdie,” said Kim. “After that, every hole I hit it close to the pin.”

Kim is aiming for her seventh career LPGA victory-she has wins in each of the last three seasons.

She owns the low round of the year; a 61 at the ShopRite LPGA Classic

Right behind Kim is China’s Yu Liu.

Liu carded a majestic 63 in the morning that featured seven birdies and an eagle.

“I wasn’t hitting it too spectacular, but I rolled in a lot of putts,” said Liu. “I knew there were birdie opportunities out there. This is probably my best position so far heading into the weekend, so I’m very excited for it.”

Five players are in a logjam at 11 under par including first round leader Katherine Kirk.

Kirk had two birdies and a lone bogey in round two.

The putts that seemingly all went in on Thursday didn’t find the bottom of the cup on Friday.

Americans Emma Talley and Mariah Stackhouse are part of the big group that trail Kim by five shots.

Stackhouse shot 67, and Talley a 68 which could have been even better had she not carded a six on the last hole of the day (9th hole).

Talley had a following of around a dozen supporters from Berlin, WI where she gave a clinic earlier in the week at Mascoutin Country Club.

They wore white shirts that displayed ‘We love Emma/Emma’s Army’ on the front and back.

“I’m playing well right now,” said Talley. “I feel really confident and am just trying to take it one shot at a time. The greens are pretty soft, so you can kind of pin seek a little bit, and that’s what I like. That’s how I grew up, so I’m enjoying just going straight at the flag.”

Both Liu and Talley sit outside the top-100 in the Rolex Rankings, so a big week could propel them both forward in the year-long CME Globe points standings.

78 players made the cut which fell at four under.

It was the lowest of the year on the LPGA tour, and one shy of the record set last year at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

Notables to miss the cut include Eun-Hee Ji, Danielle Kang, Sung Hyun Park, and Yani Tseng.

First and second round scores of the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic can be found at: www.lpga.com/leaderboard.

Notes:

-Maude-Aimee Leblanc made a double eagle on the 15th hole

-Beatriz Recari whiffed her tee shot on the 18th hole after slipping on the take away

-13-year old Alexa Pano shot an even par 72 in the second round

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