Ruoning Yin, Hyo Joo Kim share LPGA lead at Palos Verdes
PALOS VERDES ESTATES, Calif. (AP) — Ruoning Yin had the low round of her LPGA Tour career, a 7-under 64 on Friday to share the 36-hole lead with Hyo Joo Kim at the DIO Implant LA Open.
Yin, a 20-year-old from China in her second year on the LPGA Tour, turned in 3-under 32 and made four birdies in a five-hole stretch on her second nine at Palos Verdes to post a two-round total of 10-under 132.
Yin’s best LPGA result was a tie for fourth in last year’s Dana Open, her only top-10 finish. She had just 24 putts on Friday but said ball-striking has been the key to her success.
“Last year I only play fade with every shot. This offseason I was working on maybe can hit a little draw, and I think that works,” Yin said. “Yeah, I think I’m playing pretty good. Maybe can win one or two tournaments this year.”
Kim, whose five career wins include a major at the Evian Championship in 2014, shot her second straight 5-under 66. She has made only one bogey through two rounds.
“My short game today was really good and I think that led to a bogey-free round. There were a couple situations actually where I could have carded a bogey, but in those instances my putter worked well,” Kim said.
Defending champion Nasa Hataoka (66), who won at Wilshire Country Club last year, was one shot back. Maude-Aimee Leblanc (67) was two behind, and Americans Lilia Vu and Megan Khang were three shots off the lead.
Monday qualifier Mi Hyang Lee, the first-round leader, struggled to a 3-over 74 and was seven shots back.
Bailey Tardy, an LPGA rookie, aced the par-3 17th hole, using an 8-iron from 149 yards. She finished one shot outside the cut at 3 over.
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