After a second-round 68, Ally McDonald leads the LPGA Drive On Championship – Reynolds Lake Oconee at -10, the first this week to double digits. McDonald, who started the day on the back nine, played her first 12 holes 6-under until she hit two roadblocks with back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 5 and 6.
“I was just thinking like I don't want to discredit my round just because I played a couple bad holes towards the end of the day,” said McDonald, whose 134 is her lowest 36-hole score since a 133 at the 2020 ISPS Handa Vic Open. “I put myself in a great position to hit some really good shots and it was really solid for I guess would've been 13 holes. Just the last two of the last five were just kind of few bad swings. I'm still striking the ball great and I'm looking forward to the next two days.”
McDonald said it’s exciting to be hitting the ball so well, after having many looks inside 15 feet. Leading after the second round for the first time in her career, the 27-year-old said she wants to stick to the game plan she started with since arriving to Great Waters.
“I think it's really easy as a person who has never won to get ahead of yourself. We all really, really want to win. That's why we do this, that's why we compete, is to put yourself in contention as much as we can. The next two days I'm just going to try to execute my game plan, stick to one shot at a time,” said McDonald. “If I find myself getting ahead, I need to regroup, back off, and be right in the moment, be present, and try to execute the shot I have.”
Rounding out the top three is Bianca Pagdanganan and five-time Tour winner Danielle Kang one shot out of the lead at -9. Kang’s 70 on Friday included four birdies and two bogeys, while Pagdanganan walked away with a second-round 67 to earn a career-best 36-hole score (135). Ariya Jutanugarn battled back after a bogey and double bogey on her opening two holes with four birdies and an eagle on No. 2, ultimately carding a 69 and going into the weekend in solo fourth at -8.
“I hit pretty good tee shot and I have like 195 and it's like downwind, so I hit 6-iron and I have 20 feet and make the putt,” said Jutanugarn of the eagle. “On that hole I feel like I have good commitment with every shot I hit.”
Recent Rolex First-Time Winner Mel Reid, three-time LPGA Tour winner Katherine Kirk and major champion Pernilla Lindberg are currently tied for fifth at -7. Four players sit in a tie for eighth at -6, including Carlota Ciganda, who along with Kirk, recorded the low round of the day (65) that included six straight birdies on her front nine, and last week’s Epson Tour winner Matilda Castren. In all, 78 players made the cut at +3 heading into the weekend in Greensboro, Ga.