Hur takes one-shot lead at LPGA State Farm Classic with second straight 66
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – M.J. Hur had two chip-in birdies in a second consecutive 6-under 66 that gave her a one-shot lead over Amy Yang after the second round of the LPGA’s State Farm Classic on Friday.
Yang was at 11-under 133 after a 65 at Panther Creek Country Club. Cristie Kerr shot a 67 and was at 10 under with Inbee Park (67), Alena Sharp (68) and Na Yeon Choi (69).
Michelle Wie shot 69 for the second day in a row and was six shots back.
Hur played her round in a stiff wind during the morning. Yang played in the afternoon, when the wind began to gust, making scoring even more difficult. Yang was one of just three players to post a low number in the afternoon.
“It was very tough conditions, very windy,” Yang said. “But I just enjoyed my game. Everything was working well.”
Hur, starting on the back nine, had birdies on five of the first seven holes en route to a 31 at the turn. After a bogey on the par-5 No. 1, Hur made up for the misstep with birdies on Nos. 6 and 7.
Though wayward tee shots had Hur scrambling all day, a superior short game saved her time and again.
“You know, my shot was left/right, left/right,” Hur said. “The chip-ins are great … made me more confident. That’s why I’m in better shape now.”
In a sign of things to come, Hur missed the green on her first hole but chipped in for birdie. She did it again on the par-3 14th. Thursday, Hur’s short game saved her a number of times as well.
“It’s really exactly same two rounds,” Hur said. “Same shots today, same short game today.”
Yang blasted a 5-iron to 8 feet on the par-5 6th hole and then rolled in the putt for an eagle. Her 65 tied for low round with Katie Futcher, who moved into contention after opening with an even-par on Thursday.
Yang has had a good year so far, but said her confidence has really taken off in the last couple of events. She finished fourth at the Sybase Match Play Championship and has shot 68 and 65 so far this weekend.
“I had really good feelings from the match play,” she said. “And it’s staying that way. I feel really good about my game, really confident.”
Kerr said the key to defeating the wind is to not be afraid of it.
“You just kind of have to play what is in front of you and you play to the best of your ability,” she said. “There was definitely a little stronger wind and more holes into the wind on the front nine. I tried no to be like ‘Oh, my God.’ I can hit whatever shot is in front of me.”
First-round leader Shanshan Feng had even par and was in a group of nine at 8 under.
Natalie Gulbis rolled in a long eagle putt and shot 67 to move into a tie for 23rd with Wie and seven others at 6 under.
Defending champion In-Kyung Kim was 4 under after a 71.
Laura Davies and Christina Kim both missed the cut after shooting 76s. Davies ended at even par and Kim finished at plus 6.