South Korea’s Sung Hyun Park continues to dominate the leaderboard, adding a bogey-free round of 62 to yesterday’s 65 to take a one shot lead from Yealimi Noh, at 17-under-par at the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic at Oneida.
Park, who is coming off a victory, last week in Arkansas, continues to display why she is at the top of the Rolex Rankings by posting a new tournament 36-hole record, beating Sei Young Kim’s 2018 score by a single stroke.
The two-time major champion started on the 10th hole and turned in 31 strokes, before adding a further gain at 12th hole and a run of four consecutive birdies to finish.
Park Added, “I think today’s round went really well, my putting was especially at its best.
“I have experience playing in the last group from last week and I’d like to keep this momentum going.”
A shot adrift, making only her third LPGA appearance, is 17-year-old American Monday Qualifier, Yealimi Noh.
The Californian, who turned down a place at UCLA to turn professional, has performed fearlessly thus far, adding a round of 65 (-7) to her 63 (-9) yesterday, including two closing birdies to ensure she joins Park in the final group of the day off at 3:25pm tomorrow.
Noh said, “I’m just really excited to play with amazing players and just see how they play and learn from them.
“I missed like five Monday qualifiers in a row before this but I knew that my game could do better. I just needed the opportunity to play on the LPGA and finally playing here and playing well is like a dream come true.”
Lurking a further shot behind at 15 under par, after a second consecutive bogey-free round is Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn.
Seeking her first victory of the season, the reigning Race to CME Globe winner and Rolex Player of the Year, still considers herself to have left a few strokes out there.
“I still feel I can get better because I missed a lot of tee shots. I didn’t hit it much in the fairway.
“I really like this course though because I love the greens here, I feel like I can roll my putts well.”
Making the most of the morning conditions, having played in the tricky afternoon breeze on Thursday, were America’s Mina Harigae and Tiffany Joh.
The pair who fired rounds of 63 and 66 respectively, hit the top of the leaderboard at 14-under-par and led for most of the day before the overnight leaders had chance to hit their stride.
Harigae, who has only missed three fairways and three greens in regulation through 36 holes, explained her simple game plan after the round.
“My caddie told me to aim right at it and that’s what I did.
“Obviously hitting every fairway helps a lot. Irons were good. Wedges were really good. Made a couple good putts, like 15 footers, but also had a couple tap-ins.”
Joh, who recorded a career-low 36 hole total in her ninth LPGA season was happy with her performance but cautious when looking ahead to Saturday.
“I’ve played golf long enough to know that you’ve never really figured this game out. I know better than to go out there tomorrow and start strutting on the front nine.”
Overnight leader Yu Lui overcame a pair of early bogeys to post a 3-under-par 69, finishing the day in T6 alongside compatriot Shanshan Feng.
Native American sponsor invite Gabby Lemieux shot a second round 71 (-1) to finish at two-over-par for the tournament.
70 players made it through to the weekend with players at -5 or better teeing it up on moving day at Thornberry Creek at Oneida.
American Maddie McCrary and Thailand’s Pavarisa Yoktuan get play underway tomorrow at 9:45am.
Watch the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic LIVE on the Golf Channel at the following times:
Saturday, July 6th & Sunday, July 7th