Nov 21st, 2020
Sei Young Kim out front at Pelican Women’s Championship
As Stephanie Meadow closes to within two of the lead
Photography: Getty Images
It is the 14th time in her six-year LPGA Tour career that Kim is the 36-hole leader or co-leader. In eight of the previous 13 occasions, she hoisted a trophy, including most recently at the KPMG Women's PGA Championship in early October.
"Winning the major tournament and then in this year I've played quite consistently, so I got a lot of confidence," said Kim.
"It was tough to make the chance to birdie on the back nine because pin positions were really tough. Most pins were right next to the undulation, so if you miss it will come all the way back. I had three good up and downs. It was really good play."
LPGA Tour champion Ally McDonald strung together her seventh straight round under par a run that goes back to the final round of the KPMG Women's PGA Championship. The only blemish on an otherwise faultless card was a bogey on the par four 2nd hole.
"It was kind of directly into the wind and the hole location just a few paces past that false front, so it really requires a really precise approach," McDonald said after a four-under par 66 in the second round.
"The way some of the greens just fall off, you're going to hit good shots sometimes and have to work to get it up and down. You're always going to have some 40 to 50 footers occasionally, and that just makes the speed control really important. I tried to be really patient, not all about making a lot of birdies out here. You have to settle with some decent approach shots that give you good chances for par."
2020 AIG Women's Open champion Sophia Popov managed to stay in the hunt despite a double bogey on the 2nd hole and a bogey at the 16th. The 28-year-old German eventually signed for a second round 70 to keep herself in contention.
"I think I made more feet of putts today for par than all of yesterday, and I thought I putted really well yesterday," said Popov.
"I made a lot of key putts. When your driver and irons are not working the way you want them to, at least you can save yourself at the end of the hole. I definitely struggled with the driver. No. 2 was just missing that green in the wrong spot. You can't short side yourself out here."
Stephanie Meadow got off to an eventful start at the 10th hole, her first. I hit it right at the front of the green and tried to putt down that big slope and I left it on top of the slope, the one thing you don't want to do," said Meadow. "When I hit it, I didn't think it was that short, so total miss-feel by me. That is a tough hole."
However, Meadow recovered well to fire six birdies in her round of 65 which moved her up into a tie for third with Popov.
"My back [second] nine was awesome. Played really solid," said Meadow. "The front nine I barely hit any greens and made a ton of up and downs. Kept my cool on my front nine, the back nine, and was able to make some birdies coming in, which was nice."
Elizabeth Szokol followed up her opening-round to sit in sole possession of fifth place at the halfway point.
"Feels good. I was playing well, so it's nice to put two good rounds together before the weekend. I am excited for two more days," Szokol said.
"The course is playing tough and pretty windy the last two days. The greens have got a lot firmer and faster as the week goes on, definitely tough. It is nice to hit driver pretty much everywhere and have some shorter clubs in, especially with the greens."
Elsewhere Lydia Ko who recently jetted off to compete in the Omega Dubai Moonlight Classic on the Ladies European Tour was round in 67 to move up to five off the lead on three-under.
"That was really fun. Was able to say officially that my eyesight is not good in the dark," Ko joked. "Was very questionable actually where I think if I ever go there again I need some sort of glasses to help me."
Sitting alongside Ko on three-under is Min-Jee Lee of Australia and South African Ashleigh Buhai.