Su Oh has clawed her way back into contention at the Pelican Women’s Championship, with a brilliant six-under 64 taking her to within three shots of the lead midway through the LPGA tournament.
Opening with a 68 to be six behind pacesetter Leona Maguire, the Australian’s sterling second-round effort catapulted her up the leaderboard to be just three behind American leaders Jennifer Kupcho and Lexi Thompson.
Oh made seven birdies with a bogey at the last the only blemish on her card.
She went on a birdie-blitz on the second, third and fourth holes before enhancing her round further on the sixth, 12th, 13th and 16th, to move to tied 10th.
Thompson birdied four of her last five holes for her six-under round to share the lead with Kupcho.
One big prize was awarded when Pavarisa Yoktuan made a hole-in-one with an eight-iron on the 145-yard 12th hole and won a two-year lease for a Lamborghini.
Christina Kim felt like a winner, too, even though her work is not done. Kim missed out on Monday qualifying, received a late sponsor exemption and responded with rounds of 65-66 to sit just two shots off the lead.
That’s a big deal for Kim because she is No.98 in the Race to the CME Globe, and only the top 100 keep full cards for next year after this event. She would have to win – something Kim hasn’t done in seven years – to move into the top 60 and advance to the CME Group Tour Championship next week.
For now, she was floating on air, no small task for a 37-year-old who referred to herself as an “Old Betty” who can “occasionally just whack it around and find the bottom of the cup every now and again.”
“Turns out I’m a bit of a control freak. So not being in control of my own destiny, not a big fan of that,” Kim said. “So once I knew I could control my own destiny I was able to just focus on getting the job done.”
Kupcho, who has been a runner-up in each of the last three years on the LPGA Tour while still trying to capture her first title, ran off four birdies in a six-hole stretch around the turn for a 64 that set the target at 11-under 129.
“I don’t know if I necessarily have it figured out,” said Kupcho, who had 12 birdies over her last 28 holes. “I’m just hitting really good iron shots and getting myself in good position on the greens.”
Nine players were separated by two shots at the halfway point at Pelican Golf Club.
Leona Maguire of Ireland cooled slightly from her opening 62 and had a 68 to join Wie-Ling Hsu (64).
The group another shot back included Mi Yang Lee (62), Matilda Castren (64), world No.1 Nelly Korda (66) and defending champion Sei Young Kim (67).
Katherine Kirk is the only other Australian in the field heading into the weekend.
The Queenslander is at three under for the tournament, in a tie for 36th, following her second-round 67.