Anna Nordqvist, So Yeon Ryu, and Pornanong Phatlum share the lead at 9-under-par after two rounds of play at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex. The trio will take a 1-stroke lead over Lexi Thompson, Gerina Piller, and Rolex Rankings No. 1 Inbee Park into tomorrow’s third-round.
First round leader Pornanong Phatlum followed-up a 6-under 66 with a 3-under 69 on Friday that included four birdies and one bogey. While the Thailand native had a red hot putter on Thursday’s first-round, the nerves of holding the lead proved to be too much as she needed 29 putts on Friday.
“Today, I'm very happy with my score, but the putting not very good today,” said Phatlum. “I just missed a few short putts.”
In search of her first official LPGA Tour victory, Phatlum will rely on her brother, Pornpong, to keep her calm inside the ropes this weekend.
“Yea, he always talks to me, calm down,” said Phatlum. “Don't pressure myself.”
Paired together during Friday’s second round, Anna Nordqvist and So Yeon Ryu leaned heavily on each other’s support to move into a share of the lead.
“You know I am always really happy to play with Anna (Nordqvist),” said Ryu. “We have so much fun always so I love it. We pretty much played so well especially on the back-nine. We hit a really great shot and she made every birdie putt. I was really excited to see her, to see how she is playing. Also, I really happy we finish with a birdie at the last hole.”
“I mean you know, it’s just a fun atmosphere and we played with Jenny Shin today and she was solid pretty much the whole round,” said Nordqvist. “You know you just try to keep up and you know feed off of each other and give yourself a large change for birdies.”
Nordqvist who is looking to capture her first LPGA Tour victory since the 2009 LPGA Tour Championship Presented by Rolex, had the flat stick working as she fired a second-round 5-under 67 that included six birdies and one bogey.
The Swede wasted little time moving into the red numbers for her second round with a birdie at the short par-4 first. Nordqvist would then give one back with a bogey at the par-5 third but was able to return to 1-under for the day after a birdie at the par-4 seventh.
After making the turn at 1-under for the day, Nordqvist caught fire on the closing nine with back-to-back birdies on the par-4 11th and par-4 12th. The birdies would continue to roll-in for the two-time LPGA Tour winner with birdies at the par-4 15th and closing par-5 18th.
Much like Norqvist, Ryu is inching closer to ending a winless drought after recording six birdies and one bogey en route to a second-round 5-under 67. While Ryu has good history in Mexico after finishing in a tie for sixth in last year’s event, she admitted she is playing with less pressure after spending time in Korea.
“Well, to be honest, I was a bit like crazy about the winning thing,” said Ryu. “I spent time in Korea last few weeks and lot of people talking about to me like, what do you think about the winning, when are you going to make wins, that type of things. So I think I couldn’t play my game last few weeks. I play golf for other people, but now I realize I have to play golf for, just my golf. so I’m just trying to have fun out there and don’t think about the like winning thing and if I could make a lot of birdie, I can be close to winning.”
Playing with less pressure, the South Korean made the turn at even-par on Friday but immediately jumped to 2-under for the day with back-to-back birdies at the par-5 10th and par-4 11th. The birdies would continue to roll in for Ryu as she carded birdies at the par-4 14th, par-4 16th, and par-5 18th.
Topics: Lorena Ochoa Invitational