Kim Hyo-joo Seizes LPGA Lotte Championship Lead

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South Korea’s Kim Hyo-joo fired a second straight five-under par 67 on Thursday to seize the 36-hole lead on the LPGA Lotte Championship at windy Hoakalei Nation Membership in Hawaii.

Kim’s 5 birdies included three in her final six holes as she pulled three strokes away from Australia’s Sarah Kemp seeking a fifth LPGA tour title.

“To begin with, I’m glad,” stated Kim, a 26-year-old whose resume features a main title on the 2014 Evian Championship. “I performed the identical rating and bogey-free spherical as yesterday, however I’m extra glad with right this moment’s play than yesterday.”

Kim, ranked thirteenth on this planet, stated she was fortunate with the windy climate.

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“The wind was effective on the entrance 9 this morning,” she stated. “There was sturdy wind once I become again 9, so it made a excessive degree of issue. However I feel when it’s windy, the entrance 9 is affected by wind greater than the again 9.

“So I feel I had a little bit luck that the wind blew in my again 9.”

Kemp chipped in for birdie on the par-four 14th to spotlight a three-under par 69 that left her alone in second place on seven-under 137.

“I had two (chip-ins) yesterday and I couldn’t imagine that I had one other one right this moment,” Kemp stated, including that the true secret to her spherical was merely stable play.

“A number of fairways, greens,” Kemp stated. “It was simply regular. I hit one fairway bunker brief, however simply total actually regular.”

Kemp was a stroke in entrance of Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn and South Korea’s Kang Hae-ji.

Ariya had 5 birdies in her four-under par 68 whereas Kang had 4 birdies in a two-under 70 for 138.

In a single day chief Hannah Inexperienced of Australia slipped 12 pictures again with a two-under par 70 that included six bogeys.

Defending champion Lydia Ko of New Zealand additionally struggled within the gusty winds, with seven bogeys and 4 birdies in a three-over 75 that left her 10 off the tempo.

Canada’s Brooke Henderson, who received back-to-back titles in 2018 and 2019, withdrew earlier than the second spherical due to sickness.

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