Four Australian players are T13 or better on the leaderboard after Round 2 - Sarah Jane Smith (1, -9), Katherine Kirk (T6, -7), Hannah Green (T9, -6), and Rebecca Artis (T13, -5). Australian Olympians Minjee Lee (-4) and Su Oh (-3) are still within striking distance. Five-time Australian Open champion Karrie Webb missed the cut finishing at 3-over par.
CLOSE CALL FOR PLAYERS INSIDE WORLD TOP-10
All four players ranked inside the top-10 of the current Rolex Rankings who are in the field finished above the cutline, but none sit closer than six shots off of the second-round lead. World No. 1 Lydia Ko and No. 8 Brooke Henderson both shot over-par rounds to finish right on the cut number at even par. No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn stands at 2-under and No. 6 Ha Na Jang is 3-under.
A CUT ABOVE
75 players finished above the cutline of even par on Friday.
- The United States will feature the most players of any country this weekend with 23, followed by host country Australia with nine
- 23 countries will be represented in the post-cut field
- Seven 2017 LPGA rookies will play over the weekend
- Two amateurs made the cut: Republic of Korea’s Hye Jin Choi (-3) and Chinese Taipei’s Tze-Han Lin (E)
- Notables to miss the cut: Mariah Stackhouse (+2), Madelene Sagstrom (+2), Mel Reid (+2), Karrie Webb (+3), Yani Tseng (+3)
WIE BATTLES THROUGH BACK SPASMS
Michelle Wie told reporters she woke up with a stiff back on Friday morning and was dealing with back spasms throughout the day. Wie started her round off with a double bogey on the 10th and was 3-over through her first four holes, but grinded and finished the day at 2-under to sit at -5 for the tournament. Wie’s round was highlighted by an eagle on the par-4 1st where she holed out from 86 yards with a lob wedge.
SALAS FOCUSED ON SOLHEIM CUP
Two-time Solheim Cup veteran Lizette Salas hopes to make it onto her third U.S. roster at the biennial team match play event this August. Salas is currently 24th in the USA Solheim Cup points standings, but says she “feels like she’s in a good place right now” with her game. A top-20 finish this week would be a big boost towards making the roster as points are increased by one-third during this year’s tournaments, and doubled for the season’s majors.
Salas: “Even though I’m pretty down there, it’s not impossible. I could still make it. I know I could still play in those types of conditions.”
Sarah Jane Smith holds at least a share of the lead after 36 holes for the second time in her career, with the first coming at the 2016 Citi Banamex Lorena Ochoa Invitational presented by AeroMexico and Delta.
Sarah Jane Smith’s has finished as a runner-up twice in her career, most recently at the 2016 Citi Banamex Lorena Ochoa Invitational presented by AeroMexico and Delta.
Sarah Jane Smith has competed in this tournament every year since it became an LPGA event in 2012, with her best finish coming in 2013 (T15).
The last Australian player to win on the LPGA Tour was Minjee Lee at the 2016 Blue Bay LPGA.
Karrie Webb missed the cut in the Australian Open for the first time ever in her 21 career appearances in the event since 1994.
Two-time Karrie Webb Scholarship winner Hannah Green is three back of the lead at 6-under par. In her first season as a professional on the ALPG, Green has two wins and ranks first on the Tour’s current Order of Merit.
Of the 12 players that are currently T9 or better, only two have won on the LPGA Tour - Katherine Kirk (2 wins) and Lizette Salas (1 win). There were nine Rolex First-Time Winners in 2016.
American Lizette Salas is seeking her second career LPGA Tour victory - Salas won the 2014 Kingsmill Championship presented by JTBC. There were two tournaments won by American players overall in 2016.
Michelle Wie is vying for fifth career win and her 50th career top-10 finish this week. Her last win came at the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open and her last top-10 came at the 2016 Blue Bay LPGA (T10).
India’s Aditi Ashok bounced back from a 1-over 74 on Thursday with a 3-under 70 in the second round to make the cut in the first start of her 2017 rookie season. Ashok sits seven shots back of the lead in a tie for 39th.
With a win this week, Amy Boulden would become the first player from Wales to win on the LPGA Tour. Boulden is three shots back of the 36-hole lead at 6-under par.
Brooke Henderson will play solo on Saturday in the first tee time of the day at 7:20 a.m. local time. All players will go off of the first tee in groups of two tomorrow, with Caroline Hedwall and Sarah Jane Smith featured in the final pairing at 1:30 p.m.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“It hurts to miss any cut. I don’t like that at all.”
- Karrie Webb when asked what it’s like to miss the cut for the first time in 21 starts at the Australian Open