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Phatlum leads LPGA event by one shot

The SportsXchange

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Pornanong Phatlum followed a first-round 64 with a 6-under-par 66 Friday to seize the 36-hold lead at 14-under 130 in the LPGA Safeway Classic at Columbia Edgewater Country Club.

Phatlum holds a one-shot lead over Suzann Pettersen, who carved a 9-under 63 Friday and is at 131.

There are five other players within four strokes of the lead, including Sandra Gal, who shot back-to-back rounds of 66 for a 132.

Phatlum entered the week having never led an LPGA event after 18 or 36 holes. Now the 23-year-old Thailand native has accomplished both and is in line to win her first official LPGA tournament and a $195,000 first prize.

"I've played this well before, but this is the first (LPGA) tournament where I've felt really confident," said Phatlum, 26th on the money list this season with $336,575.

Phatlum's 36-hole score is the lowest in the 41-year history of the event. She had six birdies and no bogeys in her spotless Friday round, but didn't sink as many putts as she did during Thursday's action.

"I played good, but my putter wasn't that hot," she said. "I didn't get close enough to the pin, especially on the front nine."

Pettersen was on fire throughout her bogey-less Friday round, putting together nine-hole scores of 32 and 31 with nine birdies.

"It was a great round for me on the greens," said Pettersen, 32, from Norway. The Columbia Edgewater course "is very receptive. The greens are so soft, it feels like you're throwing darts in there."
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