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Golf | Women`s Golf

Kim Sei-young © Getty Images

South Korea's Kim takes four-shot LPGA lead



South Korea's Kim Sei-young fired a second-round 65 on Friday to charge into the weekend at the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic with a four-shot lead on 16-under par 128.

Kim's 36-hole total was a tournament record, four strokes better than Australian Katherine Kirk's halfway total en route to victory last year.

It matches the lowest 36-hole total on the LPGA Tour this year.

Kim teed off on the 10th hole on the par-72 course in Oneida, Wisconsin, and birdied her first four holes.

"First hole, my second shot was almost a tap-in birdie, so (I) started really solid," said Kim, who is seeking a seventh LPGA title. "After that, every hole I made really close to the pin. So I had a lot of birdie opportunities and I putted really well today."

After a brace of birdies at 15 and 16, Kim stumbled with a double bogey at the par-three 17th, but strung together three more birdies on her inward run.

She was four strokes in front of China's Liu Yu, who posted a career-best score of nine-under par 63 for a total of 132.

It was a further stroke back to South Koreans Amy Yang and Chun In-gee, overnight leader Kirk and Americans Mariah Stackhouse and Emma Talley.

Kirk had led by one after a first-round 62, but she couldn't get it going on the greens on Friday and settled for a 71.

The Australian veteran hit 16 of 18 greens in regulation but needed 33 putts and made just two birdies.

"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."

Liu, seeking her first LPGA win, rolled in a 15-foot eagle putt at the par-five third that she said "kind of got me going."

"It doesn't feel too dramatic actually," said Liu, who added seven birdies in a bogey-free round.

"I wasn't hitting it too spectacular, but I was rolling a lot of putts in. So that was the major difference today than yesterday," added the rookie, whose best LPGA finish was a third-place at the weather-shortened Texas Classic.

LEADING SECOND-ROUND SCORES

128 - Kim Sei-Young (KOR) 63-65

132 - Liu Yu (CHN) 69-63

133 - Chun In-Gee (KOR) 67-66, Amy Yang (KOR) 67-66, Mariah Stackhouse 66-67, Emma Talley 65-68, Katherine Kirk (AUS) 62-71

134 - Brittany Altomare 68-66, Chella Choi (KOR) 68-66, Anna Nordqvist (SWE) 67-67

135 - Hur Mi-Jung (KOR) 69-66, Ko Jin-Young (KOR) 68-67, Bronte Law (ENG) 67-68, Mo Martin 67-68, Jodi Ewart Shadoff (ENG) 66-69, Georgia Hall (ENG) 66-69, Dani Holmqvist (SWE) 66-69, Ariya Jutanugarn (THA) 66-69, Carlota Ciganda (ESP) 65-70, Sandra Gal (GER) 65-70, Lydia Ko (NZL) 69-66

136 - Ryann O'Toole 70-66, Thidapa Suwannapura (THA) 69-67, Mel Reid (ENG) 69-67, Aditi Ashok (IND) 69-67, Maria Torres (PUR) 67-69, Austin Ernst 65-71, Megan Khang 64-72, Brittany Marchand (CAN) 64-72



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