A second straight day in the 60s vaulted Agathe Laisne (Paris, France) into the top spot on the LPGA Qualifying Tournament Stage I leaderboard at 11-under par overall. The University of Texas standout carded a 5-under par 67 on Friday at Marriott’s Shadow Ridge Golf Club to take the 36-hole advantage.
One of two players shooting 6-under 66 this afternoon, also on Marriot’s Shadow Ridge Golf Club, was Auston Kim (St. Augustine, Florida). She sits just one stroke back at –10 overall.
“I’m feeling really comfortable and having fun. The courses have been great so far and I’m focused on playing golf, fairways and greens,” said Kim, who used an eagle on No. 16 to record one of the rounds of the day. “I hit a really solid drive and had 176 [yards] left to the pin. I got a good bounce from the left hill and my ball trickled down to three feet. It’s not an easy shot because of the water on the right [and I hit a stock fade], but I committed to my line and the result was better than I could’ve asked for.
“I got to play [the Dinah Shore Tournament Course] with Hollis Stacy at the Junior ANA. She told me to keep putts below the hole. I’ll carry the same approach to Dinah Shore [tomorrow] from the past two rounds, fairways and greens.”
The 18-hole leader Huize Lian (China) carded a 2-under 70 on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course in the second round to remain within striking distance, two shots outside medalist honors. South Dakota State University’s Teresa Toscano (67) and Virginia Tech’s Emily Mahar (69) are tied for fourth after day two at –8 overall.
“It was a good front nine. I was solid off the tee with my driver, which is key on the Pete Dye course due to all the water on the holes. I’m really happy with my game after the first two rounds. We still have two more days, so I plan to enjoy myself and be patient,” said Toscano. “Having my coach from Spain by my side has been really helpful and playing in the Island Resort Championship [on the Symetra Tour] earlier this summer helped me understand how the world of professional golf works, how the players are very patient on the course. It was an eye-opener and helped me get ready for Stage I.”
Brooke Matthews, an All-SEC First Team member for the Arkansas Razorbacks, found a groove herself on day two with a 67 on the Dinah Shore course, making it a group of five in a share of ninth at 6-under.
“I got off to a hot start with birdie-birdie right out the gate. I had a few more looks but couldn’t get them to drop. After giving one away from hitting it over the green, I was able to get it back on the next hole,” said Matthews. “Then coming in, I finished birdie-birdie-birdie-birdie-par, a little bit of a hot start and then hot finish today. I’m going to try and continue finding a mix of aggressive but also playing smart.”
A total of 85 players concluded round two at even par overall or better, while 158 competitors are at 3-over par overall or better. Third round action picks up tomorrow at 7:15 a.m. PDT with individuals venturing onto their final course according to the rotation of Dinah Shore-Pete Dye-Shadow Ridge.
Nishtha Madan (-5, T14) on her mentality heading into the third round:
“Feels great, I played very steady from the get-go and hit almost every fairway and green today which made it easier to do that. Hit a solid drive on No. 16 and had 224 [yards] to the flag, hit hybrid just right of the green into the short-sided rough and chipped in for eagle. I am approaching it like it’s the first round tomorrow and playing with the mindset that every shot is my first one of the week or of the day, so just staying in that frame of mind.”
Gina Kim (-4, T20) on her confidence heading into the third round:
“It was really windy when I played so I missed a lot of greens but I managed to have a bogey-free 69 with three birdies on the par-5s. I played (Pete Dye) during the NWGA Q-School prep event and I shot -7 there one day, so I am feeling pretty confident going into tomorrow.”
Karen Kim (-4, T20) on a bogey-free second round:
“Playing a bogey-free round always feels good, was just surprised every moment. Honestly, took some time off from golf forcefully and went to the Galveston Island in Texas and had a great time with friends and family.”
Amanda Hollandsworth (E, T61) on finding momentum at Shadow Ridge Golf Club:
“I started off pretty hot today shooting 30 on the front with four birdies and an eagle. I let a couple slip away on the back, but overall it was a pretty good day. I didn’t play as well as I would have liked yesterday, so it was nice to get a round in the 60s to get back on track. Going into tomorrow, I am just going to continue to play my game and not get too far ahead. One shot at a time may sound cliche, but it really is important. Just trying to keep a level head.”