LPGA: Uribe claims lead in Australian Open

ONE TO WATCH::Mariajo Uribe’s six-under 67 put her ahead of 15-year-old sensation Lydia Ko, who won her third professional victory in New Zealand on Sunday


Sat, Feb 16, 2013 - Page 8

Colombia’s Mariajo Uribe shot a six-under 67 yesterday to overtake South Korea’s Shin Ji-yai and overnight leader Lydia Ko and claim the second-round lead at the LPGA Tour-opening Women’s Australian Open.

Uribe opened with a birdie after teeing off on the par-four 10th and made four more at Royal Canberra, including at the sixth and seventh as she moved to 15-under 131 and a one-stroke lead.

Two-time British Open-winner Shin fired eight birdies against two bogies for 67, sharing second with 15-year-old amateur Ko, who followed an opening-round 63 with a 69.

Ko had five birdies in her round, but squandered a chance to retain a share of the lead when she dropped a bogey on the par-four 14th.

“I just thought six-iron would be the club and I hit it well, but it just took a big bounce and it went straight over the green,” she said.

Uribe, who turned pro in 2009, is chasing her first LPGA title and played a blemish-free round to follow her 64 on Thursday.

Ko was grouped with top-ranked Yani Tseng (71) of Taiwan, who finished eight strokes off the lead, and Michelle Wie, who missed the cut after rounds of 74 and 73.

South Korean-born, New Zealand-based Ko won the New Zealand Women’s Open on Sunday for her third victory in a professional tournament.

Last year, she won the New South Wales Open in Australia to become the youngest player to win a pro tour event and the Canadian Open to become the youngest LPGA Tour winner.

She also won the US Women’s Amateur.

“Four-under is a pretty good score out there,” Ko said. “It’s not an easy golf course. I’m pretty sure it is a pretty good score for me.”

Shin took an early lead after the morning session, despite conceding bogeys on the par-four ninth and fifth holes.

“I made a couple of bogeys today, but I made more birdies,” she said. “I hit it OK, but [it was] just the wrong read, so I still have a good feeling at the moment and with my good tempo, I’ll just keep doing that for the next couple of days too,” Shin said.

Australia’s Kristie Smith was fourth, five strokes off the lead after a 68, while Beatriz Recari was a shot further back after a 69.

Taiwan’s Amy Hung finished tied for 52nd after a one-under 72.

Additional reporting by staff writer