Through 36 holes in the Pelican Women’s Championship presented by DEX Imaging and Konica Minolta, Sei Young Kim leads by one at 8-under par overall. 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, who fired a bogey-free, 5-under par 65 this afternoon. “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 ups and downs. It was really good to play.”
In solo second and trailing Kim by one stroke is most recent LPGA Tour champion Ally McDonald. She has now strung together seven straight rounds under par going back to the final round of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Her only blemish on the scorecard today was a bogey on the par-4 2nd.
“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 4-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.”
Two players sit two shots back of the lead at 6-under overall including Stephanie Meadow and 2020 AIG Women’s Open champion Sophia Popov. The University of Southern California alumna managed to stay in the hunt despite a double bogey on No. 2 and bogey at No. 16.
“I think I made more feet of putts today for par than all of yesterday, and I thought I put really well yesterday,” said Popov, who signed for an even-par 70. “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.”
Elizabeth Szokol rounds out the top five at 5-under overall following a 4-under 66 performance in round two. Meanwhile, three individuals are tied for sixth at -3 including 15-time LPGA Tour winner Lydia Ko. A total of 70 players made the cut at +5. Notables to miss the weekend include 2019 ISPS Handa Vic Open champion Celine Boutier, 2020 LPGA Tour rookie Haley Moore and 41-time Tour winner Karrie Webb.
Jasmine Suwannapura and sponsor exemption Natalie Gulbis both withdrew during the second round.
LPGA Tour Release, Nov 20, 2020