Taiwan’s Yani Tseng moved into the second spot at the LPGA State Farm Classic after shooting a six-under-par 66 in the second round on Friday to finish the day at 11-under.
Tseng struck five birdies on the front nine and three on the back nine, despite bogeys at the 13th hole and the 15th, to finish tied for second place at the Panther Creek Country Club in Springfield, Illinois.
Tseng is currently two shots behind American Mindy Kim, who held on to her lead in the tournament with a second-round 67 to finish at 13-under.
Tseng played the first two rounds with Kim.
“She really pushes me hard to play better,” Tseng said. “She would get close and I want to get close, too. I don’t want to hit it out of range if she’s close. It’s very nice to have a player like that to compete with in the same group.”
“I think I hit much closer today, so I had a lot more birdie chances today than yesterday,” Tseng said in an interview after the match.
“I had eight birdies and two bogeys that I don’t think I should have made,” she added. “I just lost a little focus, but I had a great round.”
Tseng is currently tied with China’s Shanshan Feng in second, while South Korea’s Shin Ji-yai is in fourth at 10-under.
Taiwan’s Amy Hung is currently in 69th at one-under, while Candie Kung failed to meet the cut, finishing one-over.
Kim, winless in two seasons on the LPGA Tour, said she has struggled with focus after bad holes, but thinks she’s maturing and managing herself better on the course. The American proved it on Friday, quickly rebounding from a bogey on the par-four 10th — her opening hole of the round.
“I would just get angry. I mean if I made a stupid bogey, which, on No. 10, it really was,” Kim said. “Honestly, in the past I just didn’t practice in my offseason. I would just hang out with my friends and I think I did a little too much of that. This offseason, I cut out a lot of time for golf. I spent a lot of time on the golf course preparing myself mentally with my new coach.”
“If I make bogey, I can’t go back and make par, right? Just have to get over it,” she added.
Shin had a hole-in-one on the par-three second hole en route to a 68 to reach 10-under.
She made a 50-foot putt for birdie on the second on Thursday, then had a hole-in-one on the 146-yard hole.
“It’s my favorite hole,” Shin said. “I can’t wait for tomorrow.”
She used an eight-iron.
“I couldn’t see the hole, but the reaction of the gallery, they were screaming,” said Shin, who has eight lifetime aces. “Watching the ball flight, I thought it might get close.”
Amanda Blumenhurst (67) was nine-under and Brittany Lincicome, coming off a victory last Sunday in New Jersey, had a 69 to join Paula Creamer (68) and Jennifer Johnson (67) at eight-under.
Defending champion Cristie Kerr (67) topped a large group at seven-under. Michelle Wie was eight strokes back at five-under, following an opening 72 with a 67.