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Park cuts through fog to lead

The SportsXchange

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. -- Lest we forget after one round that Inbee Park was still here to compete for the U.S. Women's Open, she made it quite clear in the second-round fog at Sebonack Golf Club.

While I.K. Kim took an early round lead at 7 under par, Park, starting in one of the last groups of the day, overcame her first two bogeys of the tournament to shoot 4-under 68 on Friday for a two-day total of 9-under 135 and a two-stroke lead over Kim.

"We got very lucky to finish today," Park said. "It was tough to play in the fog."

Park, the world's No. 1-ranked player, was able to get under par for the round with a birdie on No. 8. She then sank a 35-foot putt for another birdie on 13 to tie Kim for the lead. Two holes later, at the par-5 15th, Park moved on top and added some insurance with a 10-foot birdie putt on No. 18.

Her putt was the last shot of the day as fog suspended play for a few late starters.

"I played very good golf today. I had very good ball strength," Park said. "I m very satisfied with today's performance."

Kim was very much in the thick of things in Thursday's first round. Sharing the lead with Park before Ha-Neul Kim took over, I.K. Kim went on to bogey the 18th hole and drop to third at 4 under.

In the second round, Kim made sure she finished strong, ending on the front nine with two birdies to shoot a 3-under 69.

"Yesterday wasn't the nicest way to finish," Kim said. "Today, I didn't think about how many holes I needed to play. Out here you have to play with everything you have and that's all you can do."

And she did it despite having to get up early.

"Typically, I like afternoon (tee) times," Kim said. "It didn't really look very nice this morning, but it turned out to be a much better day."

Ha-Neul Kim, the first-round leader, did not have the same good fortune at Sebonack that she had Thursday. With three bogeys and a double bogey, Ha-Neul shot 5 over for the round and dropped into a tie for ninth at 1 under overall.

"My irons were not good and my greens in regulation were bad," Kim said. "I'm not upset. I'm entered. Yeah, (I'm still having fun)."

Going into Saturday's third round, Park knows the kind of threat Kim imposes.

"She's handled herself very good," Park said. "She's a very consistent player. I watched her playing yesterday and she looked very solid and I look forward to playing with her."

Englishwoman Jodi Ewart Shadoff used a bogey-less 13-hole run to climb up the leaderboard. Birdies on Nos. 10 and 12 sparked a jump to third place before she bogeyed 14 and was tied at 4 under with Lizette Salas with three holes remaining.

Salas shot par on day two, staying at 4 under and tied for third. She was momentarily was tied with Park at 5 under at the start of the round but bogeyed 14 after two straight birdies on Nos. 7 and 8.

Angela Stanford shot a 4-under 68 to jump to a tie for fifth with Jessica Korda at 3-under 141 in the second round. Stanford birdied four of the first seven holes on the back nine.

"I learned a very quick lesson from yesterday," Stanford said. "I kind of told myself to knock it off and don't make the same mistakes."

Suzann Pettersen, the No. 3-ranked player, continued her struggles at Sebonack and missed the cut for the third time this season with a two-round total of 9 over.
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