SPRINGFIELD, Ill. » M.J. Hur had two chip-in birdies in a second consecutive 6-under 66 that gave her a one-shot lead over Amy Yang after the second round of the LPGA’s State Farm Classic yesterday.
Yang was at 11-under 133 after a 65 at Panther Creek Country Club. Cristie Kerr shot a 67 and was at 10 under with Inbee Park (67), Alena Sharp (68) and Na Yeon Choi (69).
Michelle Wie shot 69 for the second day in a row and was six shots back, tied with eight other golfers in 23rd place. She birdied two of her first six holes, then followed three pars with her only bogey of the day on No. 2 (her 11th hole of the round). Wie then birdied two of her final six holes of the day.
Hur played her round in a stiff wind during the morning. Yang played in the afternoon, when the wind began to gust, making scoring even more difficult. Yang was one of just three players to post a low number in the afternoon.
"It was very tough conditions, very windy," Yang said. "But I just enjoyed my game. Everything was working well."
Hur, starting on the back nine, had birdies on five of the first seven holes en route to a 31 at the turn. After a bogey on the par-5 No. 1, Hur made up for the misstep with birdies on Nos. 6 and 7.
Though wayward tee shots had Hur scrambling all day, a superior short game saved her time and again.
"You know, my shot was left/right, left/right," Hur said. "The chip-ins are great … made me more confident. That’s why I’m in better shape now."
In a sign of things to come, Hur missed the green on her first hole but chipped in for birdie. She did it again on the par-3 14th. Thursday, Hur’s short game saved her a number of times as well.
"It’s really exactly same two rounds," Hur said. "Same shots today, same short game today."
Yang blasted a 5-iron to 8 feet on the par-5 6th hole and then rolled in the putt for an eagle. Her 65 tied for low round with Katie Futcher, who moved into contention after opening with an even-par on Thursday.
Westwood scrambles back
Englishman Lee Westwood birdied his final three holes and grabbed a share of a one-stroke lead with Garrett Willis after the second round of the St. Jude Classic in Memphis, Tenn.
Westwood had a one-stroke lead after the first round, and the world’s No. 3-ranked player had to scramble a bit after two bogeys dropped him two strokes off the lead in this final tuneup for the U.S. Open. He rolled in a 26-footer for birdie on No. 17, and then hit a 9-iron within 4 feet for a 68 that tied him with Willis at 9-under 131 total through 36 holes.
Willis, who spent last year on the Nationwide Tour, had five birdies in a bogey-free round to put himself in today’s final group.
Charley Hoffman had the clubhouse lead early with a 65 and was at 132. Robert Karlsson (66) and Robert Garrigus (66) were tied for third at 133.
Kaneohe native Dean Wilson shot a 72 to settle into a tie for 32nd, eight strokes off the lead. Punahou alum Parker McLachlin shot a 72 to miss the cut by two strokes.
U.S. down at Curtis Cup
Great Britain and Ireland got off to a strong start in its effort to snatch the 36th Curtis Cup from the U.S. squad in the biennial event being held at the Essex County Club in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass.
After halving the three morning foursomes, the visitors won two of the three fourball matches in the afternoon to take a 3.5-2.5 lead over the Americans. The U.S., which has won the event six straight times, needs 10 points to retain the cup; the GB&I team 10.5 points to take it back across the pond.
Stephanie Kono of Honolulu teamed with Cydney Clanton of New Hampshire to halve a foursome match with Danielle McVeigh and Leona Maguire of Ireland. Kimberly Kim of the Big Island and her partner, Jennifer Song of Michigan, lost a four-ball match to McVeigh and Pamela Pretswell of Scotland.
Bjorn, Del Moral in front
Thomas Bjorn of Denmark and Carlos Del Moral of Spain shared the lead at 12 under after the second round of the Estoril Open at Penha Longa in Portugal.
Bjorn and Del Moral both had 7-under 65s and sit two strokes ahead of Steve Webster, Robert Coles and Damien McGrane.