Leona Maguire in the mix in Hawaii after a bogey-free 67

Cavan golfer is in a tie for 10th at halfway stage while teenager Yuka Saso leads the way

Leona Maguire of Ireland plays a tee shot on the 13th hole during the second round of the LPGA LOTTE Championship at Kapolei Golf Club in Kapolei, Hawaii. Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Leona Maguire of Ireland plays a tee shot on the 13th hole during the second round of the LPGA LOTTE Championship at Kapolei Golf Club in Kapolei, Hawaii. Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

 

Leona Maguire continued her good form in the second round of the Lotte Championship in Hawaii as she carded a bogey-free round of 67 on Thursday to sit in a tie for 10th at nine under par, seven shots behind leader Yuka Saso.

Among the early wave of the second round, Maguire was on fire and claimed birdies at the seventh and ninth to turn in 34. On the way in she kept the foot down with further birdies at the 10th, 14th and 17th moving her up to nine under.

The 26-year-old Co Cavan golfer has made a superb start to the LPGA Tour season - making the cut in all four previous tournaments, with a best-finish of tied-6th in the LPGA Drive On Championship - and heads into the final two rounds very much in contention.

Stephanie Meadow sits two shots further back in a tie for 20th after she recovered from bogeys at the third and fourth to reel off birdies at the fifth, seventh, ninth and 11th. Another dropped shot did come her way on the 15th but she finished with a birdie at the last for a round of 70 and a midway total of seven under par.

At the top of the leaderboard Philippine teenager Saso produced a second consecutive stellar round Friday to hold a two-shot lead at the midpoint of the tournament.

Saso, who shared first place after the opening round, carded a second consecutive 64 at Kapolei Golf Club on the island of Oahu and her 16 under par total has her in front of New Zealand’s Lydia Ko who fired a 63 on Friday.

Saso, 19, is a regular on the LPGA of Japan Tour, but she finished in the top 15 at last year’s US Women’s Open. Like Maguire and Meadow, she is looking for her first victory on the LPGA Tour.

Her scorecard Friday featured nine birdies, including four in a row around the turn, and just one bogey.

“Two more days, I’m trying to get used to it,” said Saso, who admitted she was playing this course for the first time this week. “It’s like Philippines but colder than Philippines and windier than Philippines. I made some good putts, had good up and downs, my driving was very consistent today.”

Ko, 23, already has 15 LPGA wins, including two Majors, but she hasn’t been victorious since April 2018. Her bogey-free round Friday included three different streaks of back-to-back birdies.

“I started off well birdieing my first two holes, and then I think I just continuously gave myself opportunities,” Ko said. “Especially around a golf course like this, the more times you’re putting for birdie or having chances to putt for birdie the better. ...

“Especially when the winds come, I think it’s a course where some players can go really low, so feel like I was able to do a pretty good job at that, and nice finishing off with a birdie on the last (hole).”

Collated scores after round two of the LPGA Tour LOTTE Championship (USA unless stated, Par 72)

128 Yuka Saso (Phi) 64 64

130 Lydia Ko (Nzl) 67 63

133 Nelly Korda 65 68, Hyo-Joo Kim (Kor) 68 65, Som-Yeon Ryu (Kor) 65 68, Luna Sobron (Spa) 69 64

134 Ally Ewing 65 69, A-Lim Kim (Kor) 70 64, Brianna Do 68 66

135 (a) Rose Zhang 67 68, Sei-Young Kim (Kor) 67 68, Alexis Thompson 68 67, Brittany Altomare 64 71, Mi-Hyang Lee (Kor) 67 68, Leona Maguire (Irl) 68 67

136 Paula Reto (Rsa) 69 67, Brooke Henderson (Can) 68 68, Stacy Lewis 66 70, Linnea Stroem (Swe) 69 67

137 Danielle Kang 68 69, Hannah Green (Aus) 70 67, Amy Yang (Kor) 69 68, Yu Liu (Chn) 68 69, Jessica Korda 67 70, In-Bee Park (Kor) 71 66, Azahara Munoz (Spa) 69 68, Jennifer Kupcho 68 69, Alena Sharp (Can) 71 66, Amy Olson 69 68, In-Gee Chun (Kor) 68 69, Austin Ernst 69 68, Stephanie Meadow (NIrl) 67 70, Klara Spilkova (Cze) 69 68, Alison Lee 70 67

138 Nicole Broch Larsen (Den) 68 70, Georgia Hall (Eng) 70 68, Sarah Schmelzel 69 69, Anne van Dam (Ned) 68 70, Aditi Ashok (Ind) 69 69, Sarah Burnham 70 68

139 Hinako Shibuno (Jpn) 68 71, Lizette Salas 71 68, Caroline Masson (Ger) 74 65, Jenny Shin (Kor) 69 70, Angela Stanford 69 70, Jillian Hollis 70 69, Yealimi Noh 69 70, Lindsey Weaver 72 67, Esther Henseleit (Ger) 71 68, Lauren Coughlin 70 69, Celine Palomar-Herbin (Fra) 70 69

140 Nasa Hataoka (Jpn) 71 69, Kristen Gillman 70 70, Chella Choi (Kor) 70 70, Wei Ling Hsu (Tai) 67 73, Pernilla Lindberg (Swe) 73 67, Kanphanitnan Muangkhumsakul (Tha) 72 68, Jeong-Eun Lee (Kor) 69 71, Matilda Castren (Fin) 71 69

141 Jeon-Geun Lee (Kor) 69 72, Su-Hyun Oh (Aus) 73 68, Jing Yan (Chn) 75 66, Gerina Piller 71 70, Xiyu Lin (Chn) 69 72, Tiffany Chan (Hkg) 70 71, Giulia Molinaro (Ita) 72 69, Nam-Yeon Choi (Kor) 69 72, Hae-Ji Kang (Kor) 69 72, Jennifer Chang 72 69, Dana Finkelstein 73 68, Haley Moore 70 71, Mina Harigae 71 70, Kelly Tan (Mal) 72 69, Louise Ridderstroem (Swe) 70 71, Kyung Kim 69 72, Anne-Catherine Tanguay (Can) 72 69

The following players missed the cut:

142 Gabriela Ruffels (Aus) 70 72, Min-Jee Lee (Aus) 71 71, Ariya Jutanugarn (Tha) 74 68, Ssu-Chia Cheng (Tai) 70 72, Elizabeth Szokol 73 69, Min-Seo Kwak (Kor) 74 68, Nuria Iturrios (Spa) 71 71

143 Eun-Hee Ji (Kor) 72 71, Moriya Jutanugarn (Tha) 71 72, Katherine Kirk (Aus) 69 74, Cydney Clanton 72 71, Pornanong Phatlum (Tha) 71 72, Cheyenne Knight 71 72, Pajaree Anannarukarn (Tha) 72 71, Maria Torres (Pur) 70 73, Harukyo Nomura (Jpn) 72 71, Cristie Kerr 73 70, Brittany Lang 73 70, Lindy Duncan 70 73, Muni He (Chn) 68 75, Albane Valenzuela (Swi) 72 71, Wichanee Meechai (Tha) 73 70, Ji-Won Jeon (Kor) 75 68, Cheyenne Woods 72 71

144 Kim Metraux (Swi) 73 71, Perrine Delacour (Fra) 71 73, Robynn Ree 71 73, Maria Fassi (Mex) 71 73, Bianca Pagdanganan (Phi) 76 68

145 Thidapa Suwannapura (Tha) 73 72, Sarah Jane Smith (Aus) 75 70, Ayako Uehara (Jpn) 75 70, Pavarisa Yoktuan (Tha) 77 68, Lauren Kim 73 72, Lee Lopez 72 73, Kendall Dye 71 74, Dottie Ardina (Phi) 75 70

146 Ashleigh Buhai (Rsa) 74 72, Caroline Inglis 73 73, Jennifer Coleman 69 77, Jennifer Song 74 72, Jaclyn Lee (Can) 75 71, Yui Kawamoto (Jpn) 73 73, Gemma Dryburgh (Sco) 76 70, Jacqui Concolino 71 75

147 Ana Belac (Slo) 75 72, Lauren Stephenson 74 73, Daniela Darquea (Ecu) 75 72, Kim Kaufman 76 71

148 Ryann O’Toole 72 76, Esther Lee 75 73, Katherine Perry 74 74, Alana Uriell 73 75, Christina Kim 76 72, Marissa Steen 74 74, Youngin Chun 73 75

149 Tiffany Joh 76 73, Mariah Stackhouse 78 71, Elizabeth Nagel 75 74, Yu-Jeong Son (Kor) 76 73, Min Lee (Tai) 78 71

150 Emma Talley 77 73, Linnea Johansson (Swe) 75 75 Andrea Lee 75 75,

151 Maia Schechter 77 74

160 Yani Tseng (Tai) 79 81, Suzuka Yamaguchi (Jpn) 78 82

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