Fourteen-time LPGA Tour winner Suzann Pettersen and Colombia’s Mariajo Uribe sit atop a packed leaderboard at 13-under par and share the 36-hole lead at the Manulife LPGA Classic. The duo leads Cristie Kerr (65-66) by one shot and has a large group of pursuers with 16 players within four shots of the lead. The cut line fell at 4-under par 140, the lowest 36-hole cut in LPGA Tour history.
Pettersen, whose last victory came at the 2013 Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship turned in a bogey-free 7-under 65 and has been playing well since returning from a left shoulder injury that forced her to withdraw from the LOTTE Championship back in April. She tied for fifth in her first event back at the Kingsmill Championship and tied for 23rd last week at the ShopRite LPGA Classic.
Pettersen only missed three fairways on Friday and hit every green.
“I think if you hit all the fairways you're going to give yourself a lot of chances with your irons, so tried to be aggressive,” said Pettersen. “The par 5s are very scoreable, you've just got to try and take care of business on those, and if you can squeeze in a birdie or two or three on the rest of the holes you're in good position. So I felt like I did that today. Hitting the ball pretty good. Hit 18 greens I think, 17 yesterday, so plugging along nicely.”
Pettersen hasn’t had many holes in her ball striking the past two days and hit 17 of 18 on Thursday and all 18 on Friday. She currently ranks 6th on Tour in greens in regulation. She said aggressive consistency on this course is key.
“Yeah, consistency usually pays off, you've just got to be patient,” said Pettersen. “I don't put too much into it. I'm playing solid golf and I'm enjoying myself out there.”
Uribe, who is in her sixth year on Tour, also turned in a bogey-free scorecard and had three birdies on both the front and back nine to finish at 6-under. The Colombia native is playing for her first LPGA Tour win and knows she’ll have to be ready for a shootout on the weekend.
“I mean, really, the girls are really good out here and last week it was windy and people were shooting low scores,” said Uribe. “So no matter the conditions are, people are going to go out there and shoot low. If it rains maybe it's going to be easier because the greens are going to receive a lot more. So I mean I'm just going to go have fun this afternoon and stay away from the game and hope for a good weekend.”
Notable players to miss the cut: Brooke Henderson (-3), Stacy Lewis (-2), Morgan Pressel (-2), Azahara Munoz (-2), and Karrie Webb (-1).