She’s playing the sort of golf to make any weekend hacker go green with envy, but that hasn’t been enough to stop Australia’s Hannah Green losing the lead at the LPGA Tour’s Portland Classic.
Her two-under round of 70 on Friday, made up of four birdies and two bogeys, didn’t quite reach the heights of her opening 66 on Thursday at the Columbia Edgewater Country Club, allowing Esther Henseleit of Germany and America’s Lilia Vu to share the lead.
Spain’s Carlotta Ciganda (66) is the lone player in third, one shot ahead.
Henseleit used a string of five straight birdies to shoot an eight-under 64.
Vu joined Henseleit at 10-under 134 with a second-round 66.
After starting her round with four birdies on the back nine, Henseleit bogeyed the par-4 first but then sank birdies at Nos.2-6 to shoot up the leaderboard. After one more bogey at the par-3 eighth, she got back to 10 under with a birdie on her final hole, the par-4 ninth.
“I had many chances but they were not gimmes. I didn’t have like a tap-in birdie at all,” said Henseleit, who credited her caddie for helping her leave herself straight, uphill putts.
Vu’s highlight was at the par-5 seventh, when she bounced back from her lone bogey of the day with an eagle. She also birdied four of her first five holes.
“It feels pretty good to be in contention here,” Vu said. “The course is a little tighter. It’s not as long, but definitely tight off the tee. I kind of struggled yesterday off the tee. I’m surprised I got away with it and finished 4-under. So just didn’t believe in myself a lot.
“And then today I just showed up and said, you know how good you are. Just believe in yourself.”
Andrea Lee matched Henseleit’s 64 to tie for the low round of the day. With eight birdies and no bogeys, Lee joined Green and Sweden’s Maja Stark (67), Colombia’s Daniela Darquea (67), China’s Weiwei Zhang (67) and Ayaka Furue of Japan at eight under.
Caroline Inglis, a Portland native and member at Columbia Edgewater, got a friendly home-course bounce when she made a hole-in-one at the par-3 13th on Friday.
Her ball bounced high on the edge of the green, took two more small hops and rolled straight into the cup.
Inglis’ second-round 70 got her to seven under in a tie for 10th with Paula Reto of South Africa (66) and Ruoning Yin of China (67).
Nelly Korda, who needs a victory to return to No.1 in the world, never got much going and dropped a shot on the final hole for a 72 that left her five shots behind, with 18 players ahead of her going into the weekend.
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