**UPDATED July 3rd at 2:00 PM ET**
After a six-hour weather delay on Friday, which saw Old American Golf Club in The Colony, Texas, receive 1.66 inches of rain, recent Rolex First-Time winner Matilda Castren made the most of the soft conditions with a second-straight round of 5-under 66 at the Volunteers of America Classic.
The victor of the 2021 LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship moved to 10-under overall, good for a one-stroke lead at the tournament’s halfway point.
“I hit a lot of greens. I was putting a lot and when I missed a green, I was just barely on the fringe,” said Castren, who went bogey-free in the second round. “Definitely longer clubs [because of the rain]. The ball wasn’t running out as it was [Thursday]. The greens were a little bit softer, so that also played to an advantage.”
Castren was originally scheduled to tee off on Friday at 8:15 a.m. CT. She was one of a handful of players to stick around Old American all morning as thunderstorms rolled through the area.
“I spent the whole day here. It was great because there was food all day and I hung out with the other players and caddies,” Castren said. “We were checking the radar every five minutes, waiting for updates. Actually, went kind of quickly. It was mainly the food that kept me here.”
Jin Young Ko, the 18-hole leader, sits alone in second. The seven-time LPGA Tour champion capped a 1-under 70 on Saturday morning. She was even par through four holes before the horns blew at 8:35 p.m. CT on Friday to signal the suspension of play due to darkness.
Second-round action resumed at 7:30 a.m. CT on Saturday with the entire afternoon wave still to finish.
“I couldn’t sleep well last night. I finished around 8:30 p.m. and got into bed maybe 10. Woke up at 4:50 a.m., so I couldn’t sleep well and then I was tired on the course,” said Ko, a resident of Frisco. “But I had a great round today and I was motivated to play good, so I can now play in the late afternoon and take a rest at home.”
The entire morning wave completed the second round on Friday and Irving resident Jeongeun Lee6 was part of that bunch, signing for a 1-under 70.
“I could have played better. My shots were not bad, but I did three-putt twice. That was bad,” said Lee6, who heads into the weekend in third at -8 overall. “I have two more rounds. I’m going to focus on one shot at a time and putting speed, going to focus on short game, yeah.”
Celine Boutier carded a bogey-free 67 on Friday to reach -7 for the Volunteers of America Classic, while Gaby Lopez completed a 5-under 66 on Saturday, highlighted by seven birdies, to join Boutier in a tie for fourth.
“It’s hard when they cut the momentum off. We were able to pick up some birdies and just commit to every shot because there are a lot of birdies out there,” said Lopez, who was 2-under through four holes before the suspension of play on Friday. “It was very windy [this morning]. I’m a player that, if I can keep playing right now, it would be great. I think it was good [to come back] to get ready for the afternoon.”
Four players are tied for sixth and four shots back at -6 including LPGA Tour rookie Ana Belac (68), as well as Irving resident and three-time LPGA Tour winner In Gee Chun (72). Defending champion Angela Stanford finished off a 1-under 70 on Saturday morning to head into the weekend -3 and tied for 29th. A total of 78 players made the cut of 1-over par.
Third-round play will begin at 1:30 p.m. CT in a split tee start and groups of three. Leaders head off No. 1 tee at 3:42 p.m. local time with Golf Channel coverage running from 4:30-7 p.m. CT.