South Korea’s Ryu So-yeon and Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist fired five-under par 67s on Friday to share the second-round lead with Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum at the LPGA Lorena Ochoa Invitational.
Ryu and Nordqvist finished with birdies at the par-five 18th while Pornanong could muster only a par, leaving them tied on nine-under-par totals of 135 at Guadalajara Country Club.
The US’ 18-year-old Lexi Thompson, who fired the day’s low round with a 64, shared fourth on 136 with compatriot Gerina Piller and world No. 1 Inbee Park, who is trying to become the first South Korean to claim LPGA seasonal Player of the Year honors.
Ryu, the 2011 US Women’s Open champion, played the front nine level, but opened the back nine with back-to-back birdies and birdied 14 and 16 as well as the last.
Ryu’s playing partner Nordqvist opened with a birdie, followed with her only bogey at the third, then birdied the seventh and back-to-back birdies at 11 and 12, plus another at 15, allowed her to close with a birdie.
“It’s just a fun atmosphere,” Nordqvist said. “You just try to keep up and you know feed off of each other and give yourself a lot of chances for birdies.”
Pornanong had back-to-back birdies at the par-three sixth and seven, then answered her lone bogey at the eighth with a birdie to close the front nine.
She fired eight pars and a birdie at the 16th on the back side.
“Today, I’m very happy with my score, but the putting was not very good today. I just missed a few short putts,” Pornanong said.
The 23-year-old Thai standout won the unofficial LPGA Brasil Cup last year and was runner-up this year at Mobile Bay.
AFP, PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico
Sweden’s Robert Karlsson stumbled with bogeys on two of the last three holes on Friday, but birdied the last to share the clubhouse lead with Kevin Stadler at the darkness-halted PGA OHL Classic.
Stadler, a US player seeking his first USPGA Tour triumph in the US$6 million event at Mexico’s Mayakoba resort, fired an eight-under par 63, while Karlsson shot 67 to leave both men on 12-under-par totals of 130.
Only 29 of 127 players completed their second rounds after storms pushed the finish of round one into Friday. About 50 players had yet to tee off. The third round was expected to begin yesterday afternoon.
“It was a very long day, but I couldn’t be happier than I am right now with this round,” Stadler said after a birdie at the 18th.
South African Rory Sabbatini and the US’ Chris Stroud shared third on nine-under, but were still on the course when sunset came. Sabbatini was at six-under on a bogey-free round with one hole to play. Stroud had three holes yet to finish.
Colombia’s Jhonattan Vegas fired a 68 to share fifth in the clubhouse with the US’ Ryan Moore on 134. The US’ Pat Perez and Jay McLuen were on the course at eight-under, both will four holes yet to finish.
Stadler has two runner-up finishes on the PGA tour, coming at Greensboro in 2009 and at the 2007 Reno-Tahoe Open.
He birdied the third, the par-five fifth and seventh holes, then finished with a flourish with birdies on five of the last seven holes, including back-to-back birdies at 12 and 13, and then again at the last hole.
Karlsson birdied four holes in a row starting at the fifth and ending at the par-three eighth, added another at the par-five 13th, but then made bogeys at 16 and 17 before a birdie at the 18th saw him join Stadler at the top.
Karlsson, who has 11 European Tour wins, also has two PGA runner-up finishes, both at Memphis in the St Jude Classic, from 2010 and 2011. The Swede only qualified for the Mexico event after a top-10 finish last week on a sponsor’s exemption.