Sun, Aug 06, 2017 - Page 11 News List

Kim handles bad weather to take lead over Wie

AP, ST ANDREWS, Scotland

Kim In-kyung of South Korea gets her line before she putts for birdie on the 18th green on Friday during day two of the Women’s British Open at Kingsbarns Golf Links, St Andrews, Scotland.

Photo: AP

Kim In-kyung, the No. 1 player in women’s golf, on Friday emerged from the cold and wet with a 4-under 68 to build a two-shot lead in the Women’s British Open going into the weekend.

A two-time winner on the LPGA Tour over the past two months, Kim dropped only one shot in some of the worst conditions at Kingsbarns Links and reached the halfway point at 11-under 133.

She was two shots clear of Lexi Thompson and Georgia Hall of England.

Kim displayed a remarkable fortitude in weather that veered erratically toward the end of the day between bright sunshine and torrential downpours.

The 29-year-old from South Korea atoned for her lone bogey with three birdies and an eagle on the 492m 11th hole.

“The eagle was very unexpected,” Kim said before conceding her drive landed on a friendly downslope and gained an extra 27m. “I think this was kind of as bad as the weather could get. I expected rain, but not like this.”

Perhaps the most significant move came from Thompson, the No. 2 player in the world.

Two-over par and birdie-free after nine holes, the big-hitting Floridian played the homeward nine in 30 with six birdies — five in succession. In addition, she found time to add a new phrase to golf’s already voluminous terminology.

“I ball-striked it out there,” she said. That was fair enough, if grammatically flawed.

Even on that disappointing front nine, the eight-time LPGA champion struck her shots with an authority few can match.

“I actually hit it the same throughout both nines,” she said. “Going in, they were going right at the flag, but they both got bounces that went sideways. Then I didn’t make the second putt, but I hit it great the whole day and just got on a roll there on the back.”

Another key to Thompson’s success so far is her caddie, Kevin McAlpine. The former Scottish amateur champion worked four summers at Kingsbarns and knows the course well.

“Kevin has helped with my decisionmaking on basically every hole,” Thompson said. “His input going into the greens is especially valuable. He tells me where to land the ball and he’s been spot-on every time.”

First-round leader Michelle Wie did not fare so well, making only one birdie in a 76. That leaves her seven shots off the pace and in a tie for 21st with two rounds remaining.

Taiwan’s Hsu Wei-ling carded a 70, leaving her tied for 22nd place. Yani Tseng hit a 71 for a share of 49th place, while Candie Kung was joint 63rd with a round of 71.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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