Sei Young Kim, of South Korea, hits from the sand on the sixth hole during the second round of the LPGA Volvik Championship golf tournament at the Travis Pointe Country Club, Friday, May 25, 2018, in Ann Arbor, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Sei Young Kim takes four-shot lead at LPGA Classic

ONEIDA, Wis. — Sei Young Kim got off to a great start in the second round and finished the day with a four-stroke lead at the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic. Her advantage could have been even better.

After missing makeable birdie putts on four of her final five holes, Kim had to settle for a 7-under-par 65 to move to 16-under 128 — tied for the lowest on the LPGA Tour this season. She then headed straight to the practice green.

“Just a couple minutes of putting. That’s it,” Kim said. “I missed a couple birdie putts the last few holes. Just check out that and then no more practice.”

Starting on the back nine, Kim birdied her first four holes and six of her first seven before a double-bogey on her eighth, the par-3 17th.

“The first hole, my second shot was a tap-in birdie,” said Kim, who is seeking her first win since May 2017. “After that, every hole I got it close to the pin. I had a lot of birdie opportunities. It was perfect weather so, every hole, I could attack the pin.”

Yu Liu made the big move of the day with a 9-under 63 to grab sole possession of second place. It was the lowest score of her career. She jump-started her round with an eagle on the par-5 third, with her 3-wood from about 245 yards stopping 15 feet from the flag, then birdied four of the next six holes.

“I wasn’t hitting it too spectacular but I was rolling a lot of putts in,” said Liu, who needed only 24 putts. “I knew there were birdie opportunities out there.”

Defending champion Katherine Kirk, who had a one-shot led after a 10-under 62 in the first round, couldn’t get her putting going, though, and settled for 71. She is one of five players who are five shots off the pace at 133.

While Kirk hit 16 of 18 greens in regulation, she managed only two birdies and needed 33 putts.

“Front nine, I just couldn’t get one to drop, and back nine, hit lots of good putts and, again, nothing happened,” Kirk said. “Overall, I’m happy with how today went. I was very patient. I hit a lot of greens. That’s all you can do.”

Rookie Emma Talley was in that group at 11 under following a 4-under 68. The only blemish on her card was a bogey on her final hole, when she mishit her wedge into the par-5 ninth.

“I’m playing well now so I’m really just trying to play my game,” she said. “I felt really confident. The greens are pretty soft, so you can pin seek a little bit, which I like. It’s kind of how I grew up, so I’m enjoying just going straight at the flag.”

Also at 11 under was Mariah Stackhouse. Her round of 5-under 67 included an eagle on the par-5 15th. She is one of 10 players at 10 under or better. Another 11 players are at 9 under and in pursuit of Kim.

“For me, when I get out on the golf course, it’s not about putting pressure on anybody else,” Stackhouse said. “It’s about playing as well as I can. This is golf and you never know what’s going to happen. The better start you get, it’s just easier golf on yourself. That’s my only goal tomorrow — keep it going.”

Sung Hyun Park, who won her second career major at last week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and could have moved to No. 1 in the world rankings with a win, missed the cut by five shots at 1-over 145.

The cut was 4-under, one shot off the lowest cut line in LPGA history.

“Four-under, I was like, ‘Wow, that’s really tough,”’ Kim said.

Having hit 30 of 32 greens in regulation through two days, Kim will be really tough to beat if her post-round putting practice pays off.

Just Posted

Fenced-off SCS site development approved by Red Deer city council for seven years

‘Sunset clause’ means a new permit will be needed in 2025

Growing drug-fuelled emergencies at Red Deer’s Buffalo transitional housing complex

City council approves two additional mental health staffers at complex

Bystanders help Innisfail Mountie make arrest

A 35-year-old Ottawa man is facing a number of charges including resisting arrest

More supports for homeless needed for Red Deer

Provincial funding recently announced for Lethbridge

Second Central Alberta born jaguar dies

Mia’s brother Magnum dead at Discovery Wildlife Park

Orlando SC acquires Canadian Tesho Akindele in trade with FC Dallas for cash

ORLANDO, Fla. — Canadian forward Tesho Akindele was traded to Orlando City… Continue reading

Koskinen notches third shutout, McDavid gets winner as Oilers blank Flames 1-0

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers appear to have shored up their defence… Continue reading

Beyonce performs at pre-wedding party in India

Beyonce brought her star power to a pre-wedding party for the daughter… Continue reading

Kirk Douglas celebrates 102nd birthday

LOS ANGELES — Actor Kirk Douglas got to celebrate his 102nd birthday… Continue reading

Ellen Page steps up attack on Nova Scotia pulp mill’s effluent pipeline

HALIFAX — Hollywood actor Ellen Page is doubling down on her criticism… Continue reading

Pence aide out of running to be Trump’s next chief of staff

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s top pick to replace chief of staff… Continue reading

Swath of South faces wintry mess: Snow, sleet, freezing rain

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A massive storm brought snow, sleet, and freezing rain… Continue reading

‘I killed my best friend’: Opioids’ fatal grip on mayor, pal

MOUNT CARBON, Pa. — Janel Firestone found her son — the 24-year-old,… Continue reading

Most Read