Kim seeks maiden LPGA win at first major of season
California: Kim Song-Hee, who is the world’s highest ranked player without an LPGA tour win, shot a four-under 68 to take the lead after the second round of the first major of the season.
The 21-year-old South Korean had a bogey-free round Friday and carries a one shot lead into the third round of the LPGA Kraft Nabisco Championship at the Palm Springs area Mission Hills golf course.
“I’ve always been ready to win,” said Kim, has top-10 finishes in all three events this year.
“I had a great round today, and my swing was really smooth and comfortable, and also I had great putting today.”
The world number 14’s two-round total of seven-under 137 gives her a one-stroke lead over former major winners American Cristie Kerr (67), England’s Karen Stupples (69) and Lorena Ochoa (70) of Mexico.
Two-time Kraft winner Karrie Webb (70) was two shots adrift along with American Stacy Lewis (68).
Taiwan’s Tseng Yani (71) and first-round leader Suzann Pettersen (73) of Norway were four under 140 overall.
Kerr said no one should dismiss Kim just because she has yet to win her first tournament.
“With major championships, you would think that a lot of experience counts,” said Kerr, who will play with Kim in round three. “But sometimes, you know, the people that haven’t won don’t put pressure on themselves and they come through.”
Competitors had to deal with fast greens and tricky pin placements on Friday. The wind is expected to kick up Saturday which should make an already tough course even more difficult.
Kerr had the day’s best round while Stupples started quickly with a birdie-birdie for her second consecutive 69. Ochoa made the turn then had birdies on three of the next five holes.
“It’s just golf. I have my opportunity this week and I’m going to try my best,” she said.
After taking the first-round lead with a bogey-free 67, Pettersen struggled through a Friday round that included three bogeys and a double bogey.
American Michelle Wie was tied for 10th at two under after her second consecutive round of 71.
Japan’s Ai Miyazato, who won the season’s first two tournaments, missed the cut. She tied for 39th last week in the Kia Classic.