For the primary time in her younger profession, two-time Epson Tour winner Lucy Li will sleep on the lead at an LPGA Tour occasion. After a sensational 7-under 64, which tied a career-low she first set earlier this season on the Honda LPGA Thailand enjoying as a sponsor invite, Li jumped into the highest spot on the Dana Open offered by Marathon leaderboard at -10 total and leads the sphere by two.
“Positively with the ability to go two rounds bogey-free, I do not assume I’ve finished that in actually, actually very long time, or perhaps ever, in order that’s actually an incredible confidence booster,” stated Li, who solely wanted 25 putts to get round Highland Meadows Golf Membership.
Li, who earned her means into this week’s area along with her tie for ninth end on the CP Ladies’s Open, is the one one within the area to be bogey-free by means of 36 holes in Sylvania. Beginning the day on No. 10, her first birdie got here on her third gap, No. 12, and from there she notched 4 extra earlier than the flip, together with three straight on Nos. 14-16. Li added two extra in her final seven holes, giving lots of credit score to some essential par saves on her again 9 that helped her preserve the lead forward of the weekend.
“I have been engaged on my quick sport loads, so simply with the ability to save these pars provides me lots of confidence in what I am doing simply normally,” stated Li. The 19-year-old, who clinched her 2023 LPGA Tour card through the Epson Tour along with her wins on the Carolina Golf Traditional and Twin Bridges Championship together with 4 further top-10 finishes, may grow to be an LPGA Member instantly with a win on Sunday. Li stated she’ll use her expertise from this previous 12 months to her benefit as she heads into Shifting Day.
“Positively having these two wins on the Epson Tour provides me that confidence understanding I can play nicely coming down the stretch. I believe it is simply actually vital to deal with day by day the identical, it doesn’t matter what place you are in,” stated Li. “That is like primary key for me.”
Chasing her at -8 and in a tie for second are 2022 Tour rookie Ruoning Yin and two-time LPGA Tour winner Carlota Ciganda. Each shot 2-under 69s, with Yin’s two-day complete of 134 besting her earlier 36-hole file by six photographs. Ciganda’s solely bogey of the occasion got here on No. 5, however her third birdie of the day on No. 9 helped even out the over-par gap.
“I believed the greens have been slightly slower than yesterday, so my placing wasn’t pretty much as good. I used to be slightly quick in comparison with yesterday,” stated Ciganda. “However total, I performed good. I had a pair good saves. Gave myself some possibilities. I might have preferred a pair extra birdies, however I believe I’m in a great place coming into the weekend.”
5 gamers sit in a tie for fourth at -7, together with defending champion Nasa Hataoka, who carded a five-under 66 in spherical two. She acquired off to a lower than excellent begin with a bogey on her second gap (No. 11) and a lone birdie on 17 however was firing on all cylinders on her remaining 9 holes, carding 5 birdies to shut out simply three photographs again of Li’s lead. “To be sincere, not my finest situation,” stated Hataoka. “However enjoying on this very slender course I believe I used to be capable of play – my administration was good right now, so I believe that actually helped my sport.”
Main champion Hannah Inexperienced is amongst seven gamers tied for ninth. Beginning the day in a tie for 124th, Inexperienced fired the bottom spherical of the week to this point, a bogey-free 62 that noticed her make 9 birdies. There have been 75 gamers who made the lower at -1, together with #LPGAMom Azahara Munoz on the quantity in her first occasion again since giving delivery to her son, Lucas, this previous February.