Pettersen shot the low round of the week so far on Friday, a 9-under 63, which also marks her lowest round of the 2013 season. The Norwegian moved from tied for 20th to solo second. Germany’s Sandra Gal (66-66) sits two shots off the lead in solo third at 12-under while compatriot and LPGA Tour rookie Caroline Masson (69-64) moved into fourth place after an 8-under 64.
Phatlum’s 14-under-par marks the lowest Safeway Classic two-day total at Columbia Edgewater Country Club and also holds the 36-hole lead for the first time in her five-year LPGA Tour career. The putter has been on fire for the 23-year old and she currently leads the field with a 1.33 putting average.
“I played this good before, but this is the first tournament that I felt really good and really confident, so I've played really good, better than I have done before,” said Phatlum. “I'm more confident and everything is better than I have before.”
Phatlum won the unofficial HSBC Brasil Cup in 2012 and has three top-10 finishes in 2013 including a season-best T2 at the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic. But she’s no stranger to the winner’s circle on other tours. Phatlum has seven professional victories on the Ladies Asian Golf Tour and Ladies European Tour and said an LPGA win would be huge step in her career.
“I really do want it, just at least one tournament,” said Phatlum. “I just want to win it. I'm going to have a lot more confidence. I'm going to feel a lot better about my game. I can play easier golf, just going smooth, not to have a lot of pressure on myself, just to keep it going.”
Suzann Pettersen said she fed off of playing partner and Solheim Cup teammate Beatriz Recari’s fast start on Friday and picked up five birdies in her first nine holes. Pettersen also credited her flatstick for her solid performance and was tied for fourth in the field with a 1.44 putting average.
“It was a great round on the greens,” said Pettersen. “I kind of fed off Beatriz's start. She had five pretty quick birdies. It was kind of nice to get everyone going early. Compared to yesterday I decided when I made the turn to just kind of keep giving myself looks, keep giving myself chances, and every time I pretty much made every good look that I had. One of my better putting performances here.”
Pettersen won the Safeway Classic in 2011 when the event was held at Pumpkin Ridge and sat nine shots off the second-round leader Na Yeon Choi after 36 holes of play. When asked if she’d rather be positioned toward the top of the leaderboard or come off the radar, the 11-time winner has no preference as long as she finishes at the top.
“I really don't care as long as you get the job done,” said Pettersen. “You play so many tournaments over the year where you kind of face all different kinds of situations, positions. You're really just trying to play your best. This is a great start for me. 13 under par after two days, I'll take that any week.”
Topics: Portland Classic