Japan’s Ai Miyazato fired a four-under par 68 to share the lead with American Angela Stanford after the second round of the LPGA Canadian Women’s Open on Friday.
Miyazato, who opened with a bogey-free 65 on Thursday, stood with Stanford on 11-under par 133 after 36 holes in the US$2.25 million tournament at Hillsdale Golf Club, two strokes ahead of South Korean Kim Song-hee.
Taiwan’s world No. 1 Yani Tseng mixed three birdies with two bogeys to hole another 71 to make the cut and join compatriot Amy Hung at two-under. Candie Kung shot a 72 to finish the day at even-par, missing the cut by one shot.
Miyazato, who won five titles last year, but only captured her first of this season last month in France, started slow but took a boost of confidence after telling herself to relax.
“I had a really good round, but in the beginning I was a little bit too tough on myself. So it was a little hard to make a gain,” Miyazato said. “But I realized I’m being too tough on myself. I just had a nice self talk and I got really patient. So that’s why I got a really good bounce back towards the end, so I’m very happy.”
Miyazato birdied the par-5 fifth, added back-to-back birdies on the par-4 seventh and par-3 eighth and enjoyed another set of consecutive birdies at the par-5 14th and par-3 15th before her first bogey of the week at the par-4 16th.
“I had so many birdie opportunities, but I got also like really good up-and-down close to the pin like five times,” Miyazato said. “I played really good. I feel like I holed a lot of putts. I just have to look at the positives.”
Stanford, who fired seven birdies against a sole birdie, joked after opening with a 67 that her putter had finally arrived at a tournament. She said on Friday that the relationship between her and her putter is still a work in progress.
“I can’t fall in love with him just yet,” Stanford said.
“We’re on -speaking terms, though, so that’s good,” she said.
A total of 78 players made the cut on 143, a low level matching the record for Canada’s national championship event set in 1998.
Sharing fourth on 136, a stroke behind Kim, were Swedes Sophie Gustafson and Pernilla Lindberg, Britain’s Becky Morgan, South Korean Lee Seon-hwa and US players Gerina Piller, Brittany Lincicome, Paula Creamer and Michelle Wie, the defending champion.
“It’s what I wanted for the weekend,” Wie said. “I’m motivated to go out and try to get this thing done. I’ll do like I’ve done the last two days — stay patient and try to make a lot more birdies.”
Additional reporting by staff writer