Sun, Jul 01, 2018 - Page 11 News List

Ryu joins Henderson and Park in Women’s PGA lead


South Korea’s Ryu So-yeon plays a shot from the ninth fairway in the second round of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in Kildeer, Illinois, on Friday.

Photo: AP

Ryu So-yeon on Friday celebrated her 28th birthday with a scrappy three-under-par 69 that lifted her into a three-way tie for the halfway lead at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship outside Chicago.

The former world No. 1, back in form after a spell in the doldrums, joined South Korean compatriot Park Sung-hyun (72) and Canadian Brooke Henderson (71) at six-under 138 at Kemper Lakes Golf Club in Kildeer, Illinois.

They headed Spaniard Carlota Ciganda (69) by one stroke, while New Zealand’s Lydia Ko matched the best score of the week (66) to vault within two shots.

Defending champion Danielle Kang (69) had moved two shots of the lead before a pair of bogeys on her final three holes left her four back.

A day after feeling that a three-under 69 did not reflect how well she had played, Ryu admitted that an identical score on Friday was perhaps more than she deserved.

“Golf is definitely a funny game, because yesterday I thought I hit it just really, really perfect, like I just couldn’t ask more, and I shot three-under,” she told reporters. “And then compared to yesterday, I felt like I absolutely hit it everywhere out there, but still shot three-under.”

“That was really good learning [experience],” she added.

Ryu ended a nearly year-long victory drought when she won the Meijer LPGA Classic two weeks ago, a result she achieved after a change in attitude.

Ryu, who in Cameron McCormick uses the same coach as Jordan Spieth, said she had picked up some extra length recently.

It certainly came in handy on a course that is still drying out after being drenched earlier in the week.

Ryu finished with three birdies in the final five holes to catch Park, who faltered with a bogey at her 16th hole, the par-five seventh.

Park’s second shot from more than 200 yards landed pin-high, but took a huge bounce over the green, from where she hit a poor chip that almost trickled into a water hazard on the other side.

Henderson, in the hunt for her second victory in the event after beating Ko in a playoff in 2016, banged in a 15-foot birdie at the last to earn a share of the lead.

“Up and down all day,” she said of a round that included five birdies and four bogeys. “The birdies are a good sign, the bogeys not so much, but it was kind of playing tough early this morning, it was really windy, and it just took a couple holes to kind of adjust to that.”

Meanwhile, South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace was disqualified for using a nonconforming club.

She damaged her sand wedge when slamming it against a stake, but did not realize she had done so until she had used the same club again a few holes later.

Taiwan’s Min Lee carded a five-over 77 to slump to a share of 74th on a two-round four-over 148, while Hsu Wei-ling finished in a group at 92nd on an overall six-over 150.

Yani Tseng finished tied for 105th on seven-over 151, while Kaohsiung-born Candie Kung of the US and Chien Pei-yun repeated their first-round scores — four-over 76 and five-over 77 respectively — to take shares of 113th and 129th.

All failed to make the three-over cut.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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