Fourth-ranked Danielle Kang overcame three bogeys in the last six holes to claim a share of the lead after Saturday’s second round of the LPGA Drive On Championship.
The 27-year-old American, whose last two wins came in Shanghai in 2018 and 2019, landed a par 73 to one to join France’s Celine Boutier and England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff to take the lead on 139-36. holes in Iverness. Club in Toledo, Ohio.
The 54-hole tournament, played without spectators, marks the return event for the tour since it was closed by COVID-19 in February after playing just four championships.
Yui Kawamoto of Japan and Sarah Schmelzel of America split fourth out of 141 with Minjee Lee of Australia, South African Lee-Anne Pace and Americans Amy Olson and Sarah Burnham another adrift shot.
Kang, who led Ewart Shadoff with a shot when the rainy day began, bogeyed in the seventh but rebounded with birdies in the 11th and par 3 in 12th, exploding from a bunker on the green side on the latter and rolling the ball in the cup.
Three bogeys in a row followed, Kang saying she was thinking, “I have three holes. I can recover a few hits. ”
“I knew I was getting a little rushed so I calmed down and started walking a little slower,” she added.
It paid off with a birdie in the 17th and a closing par to keep some of the lead, which coach Butch Harmon would have appreciated.
“He always tells me to stay positive and keep working on your game and that’s what I did,” Kang said.
Boutier, who shot 71, took the opportunity to play while waiting for the virus break at his home in Texas. She won the Women’s Texas Open in June, beating a field with 10 LPGA players, then won an event in Paris, Texas.
“It was definitely something I was determined to play at a decent distance before the first tournament on the LPGA, so I wasn’t too rusty before I started,” said Boutier.
“It also motivated me to train. You know, when you don’t have tournaments for three months, sometimes you don’t even want to go to class.
“The fact that I had something to look forward to, some kind of competition going on, was pretty cool. “
© 2020 AFP