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Three share second-round Marathon Classic lead

The SportsXchange

SYLVANIA, Ohio -- Beatriz Recari, Paula Creamer and Alison Walshe are locked in a three-way tie atop the leader board at 8-under-par 134 after Friday's second round of the LPGA Marathon Classic at Highland Meadows Golf Club.

Jacqui Concolino was alone in fourth at 7 under after a round of 68. Inbee Park, Chie Arimura and amateur Lydia Ko were tied for fifth at 6 under.

Racari vaulted to the top with a 6-under 65 in the second round, the best score of the day.

"I had a great feeling from yesterday and I started off on one with a great save where I holed about a 15-footer for par, maybe even longer than that," Racari said. "I felt really good; I was playing aggressive. I was feeling really good and all I wanted to do was not focus too much on the score or count how many under I was."

After bogeys at Nos. 9 and 10 to fall back to 3 under with seven holes remaining, Recari responded by playing the next five holes in 5 under. She had birdies at Nos. 12, 13 and 16 and an eagle the par-4 15th hole.

"I was pretty angry (after the bogeys)," she said. "I was even more focused to get those back and I did, so I was really happy."

Recari holed out from the 15th fairway for an eagle after hitting a perfect 8-iron from 152 yards.

"The wind was helping off the left and I played a tiny fade," Recari said. "I knew it was going to be close to the pin, I didn't know it was going to go in, but it was a good surprise."

Ricari, the winner of the Kia Classic earlier this year, likes her chances of winning this weekend.

"I feel confident, I'm hitting the ball great and I'm putting really well," she said. "I just need to keep on working on the same few things and I really look forward to the weekend."

Creamer followed an opening-round 66 with a 3-under 68. She won the tournament in 2008 and is confident heading into Saturday's third round.

"I hit the ball well and gave myself tons of opportunities today," Creamer said. "It started off well, but really didn't hit too many good shots the first couple holes, but I fought through it."

Creamer started her round with two birdies but cooled off a bit and played the final 16 holes in 1 under par.

She had a birdie putt from about 20 feet on the 18th hole to take the outright lead, but it lipped out after catching the left side of the cup.

Despite the near-miss, Creamer is excited about being one of the leaders.

"It's what you play for," she said. "It's what you want, it's why you practice as hard as you do. It's exciting to be near the top, it'll be fun to go out tomorrow and see what happens."

Walshe, the first-round leader, birdied the 18th hole to remain tied for first. She was 1 under for the day through 12 holes, had a birdie on the par-4 12th hole and drained a putt from about 10 feet on the last hole.

"It was really windy this afternoon, so I knew it was going to be kind of up and down," Walshe said. "So to finish this way was really pleasing."

Walshe is searching for her first victory on the LPGA Tour.

"I'd be lying if I said I didn't dream about it," she said. "But you got to stay in the present -- that's on Sunday."

Concolino had a long birdie putt from the fringe on the 18th hole that would have put her in a four-way tie at the top, but it went begging past the right side of the cup.

Park, the No. 1 player in the world, shot a 2-under 69. She birdied her last two holes after three bogeys stalled her round.

Ko, the only amateur still in the field, fired a 4-under 67 to put herself in contention.

Defending champion So Yeon Ryo was in a group of three at 5 under after firing a 69. Lexi Thompson, who began the round tied for second, also was at 5 under after shooting a par 71.

NOTES: Katherine Hull-Kirk carded the first hole-in-one of the tournament, using a 5-iron from 172 yards on the par-3 14th hole. She won a 2014 Kia Cadenza for the ace. ... American Solheim Cup captain Meg Mallon was on the grounds to evaluate a number of players she is considering as captain's picks. The Marathon Classic is the second-to-last tournament before the Cup. ... Local product Caroline Powers, born in Bowling Green, Ohio, missed the cut.
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