GOLD CANYON, Ariz. — Jenny Shin of South Korea had a run of 5 straight birdies to shut out her entrance 9 on the way in which to a 5-under 67 on Friday and shared the lead with Maddie Szeryk of Canada and Moriya Jutanugarn of Thailand after two rounds of the LPGA Drive on Championship.
Jutanugarn raced up the leaderboard, following a gap 67 with a bogey-free 7-under 65 that included an eagle and 5 birdies. Szeryk, of London, Ont., pieced collectively a spherical that included an eagle and 6 birdies, together with one on her closing gap, whereas Shin used seven birdies to offset two bogeys to get to 12-under 132 at Superstition Mountain Golf and Nation Membership within the LPGA’s first full-field occasion of the 12 months.
American Lilia Vu shot a 6 beneath and was a stroke off the lead, whereas South Korea’s Na Rin An (67) and American Alison Lee (69) had been tied for fifth place at 10 beneath.
No. 3-ranked Jin Younger Ko, a winner two weeks in the past in Singapore, had a second-round 65 and was amongst eight gamers tied for seventh place at 9 beneath on the crowded leaderboard.
Maude-Aimee Leblanc of Sherbrooke, Que., is tied for sixty fifth at 3-under.
The occasion marks the debut of the tour’s new lower coverage. The cutline after 36 holes contains the highest 65 gamers and ties advancing to the weekend. Beforehand, the highest 70 gamers and ties superior to the ultimate rounds.
The cutline fell at 3 beneath, with 76 gamers advancing. Two of the massive names lacking the lower included three-time main winner Anna Nordqvist of Sweden and two-time main champion Brook Henderson of Canada, each at 1-under.
Shin, in search of her first win since 2016, overcame a sluggish bogey-birdie-par-bogey begin to the second spherical after which went on a birdie tear on Nos. 14 by 18, her entrance 9, to get to 11 beneath. She went bogey free on her again 9 and added a birdie on the par-4 third gap to get to 12 beneath.
Shin mentioned she was stunned by sudden swirling wind in the beginning of her spherical, and didn’t instantly understand her string of birdies.
“The bogey on the primary gap didn’t assist,” the 30-year-old mentioned. “I used to be like, ‘Oh, no. Right here we go once more.’ I stayed calm. I strive to not get in my head an excessive amount of. … So I didn’t know I used to be doing 5 in a row till I simply checked the scorecard. So it’s a superb factor that I didn’t know.”
The 26-year-old Szeryk, in her second 12 months on tour after a rookie marketing campaign that included making 5 cuts in 14 occasions in 2022, sees being tied for the lead after 36 holes — and no matter follows — as a studying expertise.
“It’s so wonderful to be again on this place as a result of I really like being out right here and I’m simply so grateful to God to have one other alternative to be out right here and to actually compete with the most effective gamers, she mentioned. ”However I’m simply on such a excessive.
“Simply actually excited for what the weekend has in retailer. … However it was nice to see these putts go in and make these birdies coming down the stretch.”
The spotlight of Jutanugarn’s spherical was her eagle at No. 7, the place she hit a superb drive that completed on the cart path. After a drop, she acquired a beneficial bounce on her second shot that settled on the again of the inexperienced, and he or she made the putt for an eagle 3.
“The subsequent two days simply attempting to exit and have enjoyable and do what I ought to do, what’s beneath my management,” the 2013 rookie of the 12 months and two-time tour winner mentioned. “I believe, in fact, it’s extra enjoyable once you really feel such as you’re in competition.”
Second-ranked Nelly Korda, the highest-ranked participant within the area with No. 1 Lydia Ko not competing, adopted a gap 70 with a 66 and was amongst these tied for fifteenth at 8 beneath.
Additionally at 8 beneath was Yuka Saso, however her path to a tie for fifteenth was highlighted by her first albatross, when she made a 2 on the 492-yard, par-5 second gap.
Saso used a hybrid from 217 yards out on her second shot and knew the strategy was on-line with the pin.
“I imply, we didn’t actually know the place it landed and the place it finishes, so we had been simply strolling to the inexperienced and everybody began clapping,” she mentioned. “However my ball wasn’t on the inexperienced so I used to be like, why are they clapping? Is it over? Why is everybody clapping if it’s not on the inexperienced?”
It seems her taking part in accomplice, Sei Younger Kim, appeared into the outlet and let her comprehend it was in.
“It was one in every of my desires to get one, however everyone knows how arduous it’s to get one,” Saso mentioned. “They are saying you’re fortunate when you ever get one in your golf profession. I suppose I used to be very fortunate to have it.”
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