Sei Young Kim fired a 7-under par 65 on Friday and will take a four-shot lead into the weekend at the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic.
The 25-year old Korean, who entered the day two off the lead, got off to a red-hot start with six birdies in her first seven holes to quickly move to the top of the leaderboard. A double bogey on the par-3 17th (her 8th hole) was the only blemish on her scorecard, which included nine birdies.
Kim cited her approach on No. 1 as the key to her hot start.
“I mean, like first hole, my second shot it was almost a tap-in birdie, so, yeah, starting really solid,” said Kim.
“After that, every hole I hit really close to the pin. So, yeah, I had a lot of birdie opportunities, myself.
“And then also my putting went really well today so I was able to make a lot of birdies. I don’t know how many birdie today. Maybe nine.”
At 16-under par – a 36-hole course record, Kim is four clear of Chinese Yu Liu, who shot a bogey-free 63.
Overnight leader Katherine Kirk leads a group of five players at 11-under par. The defending champion was solid tee to green but struggled getting the ball in the hole, leading to a scorecard comprised of two birdies, one bogey and 15 pars – many of them tap ins.
“Putting today,” said Kirk, when asked to cite the difference between the two rounds. “I hit 16 greens again so probably didn’t have as good chances as I did yesterday.
“Front nine I just couldn’t get one to drop, and back nine hit lots of good putts and, again, nothing dropped.
“Overall I’m really happy with how today went. I was very patient. Yeah, hit a lot of greens. That’s all you can do.”
Anna Nordqvist was one further back at 10 under following a second-day 67. The two-time major winner sits T9, alongside Brittany Altomare (66) and Chella Choi (66).
THORNBERRY CREEK LPGA CLASSIC
THE TOP 10 LEADERS
POS-PLAYER-TOTAL SCORE (TODAY)
1. Sei Young Kim -16 (-7)
2. Yu Liu -12 (-4)
3. Amy Yang -11 (-6)
3. Joakim Lagergren -11 (-6)
3. Emma Talley -11 (-4)
3. In Gee Chun -11 (-6)
3. Mariah Stackhouse -11 (-5)
3 Katherine Kirk -11 (-1)
9. Brittany Altomare -10 (-6)
9. Chella Choi -10 (-6)
9. Anna Nordqvist -10 (-5)
SEI YOUNG KIM’S STATS
Driving: 269.0 yards
Fairways: 22/28, 78.6%
Greens: 34/36, 94.4 %
Par-3: -1 (2 Birdies, 5 Pars, 1 Bogey)
Par-4: -12 (12 Birdies, 12 Pars)
Par-5: E (1 Birdie, 2 Pars, 1 Bogey)
All 36: -16 (15 Birdies, 19 Pars, 2 Bogeys)
EXIT QUESTION FOR SEI YOUNG KIM
Q: Were the conditions almost the same as yesterday for you? Did you notice anything different or…
SEI YOUNG KIM: “I supposed to really high temperature but it wasn’t. Almost like 77. And a little bit of windy out there; not a factor a lot today. It was a really perfect weather. Every hole I can attack to the pin, I was able to attack to the pin.”