Kang needs guid­ance, heeds brother’s ad­vice

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - SPORTS -

OLYMPIA FIELDS, Ill. — Danielle Kang won back-to­back U.S. Women’s Am­a­teur ti­tles, but she’s never cracked the win­ner’s cir­cle in her half-dozen years as a pro.

Kang, a 24-year-old Cal­i­for­nian, took a big step in the right di­rec­tion, grab­bing a share of the sec­ond-round lead in the morn­ing wave Fri­day at the KPMG Women’s PGA Cham­pi­onship. Her big­gest hur­dle could well be co-leader Sei Young Kim, the LPGA Tour’s 2015 Rookie of

the Year and al­ready a six-time win­ner on tour.

Kang and Kim each shot 5-un­der 66 to reach 7-un­der 135.

First-round leader Amy Yang (71), Chella Choi (70), Brit­tany Lin­ci­come (66), Jodi Ewart Shad­off (66) and Mi Hyang Lee (67) were an­other stroke back.

So Yeon Ryu (68), who climbed to No. 1 in the world rank­ing after a vic­tory last week and won the LPGA Tour’s first ma­jor of the sea­son, the ANA In­spi­ra­tion in Palm Desert, Calif., was at 5 un­der, along with de­fend­ing cham­pion Brooke Hen­der­son (69), Moriya Ju­tanu­garn (68) and Sarah Jane Smith (67).

Ly­dia Ko shot 68 to put her­self back in con­tention at 4 un­der. Michelle Wie also was 4 un­der, fol­low­ing her open­ing 68 with a 70.

Kang, the U.S. Women’s Am­a­teur cham­pion

in 2010-2011, con­ceded she didn’t have a game plan after her last prac­tice round at Olympia Fields Coun­try Club, one of sev­eral venues that pre­vi­ously hosted men’s majors now be­ing tested by the women.

“I kind of was su­per­over­whelmed and didn’t know what to do,” she said of the course, which plays to par 71 at 6,588 yards. “So I called my brother, Alex, of course.”

Alex Kang, who plies his trade on the Web. com Tour, was fa­mil­iar with Olympia Fields and its bunkers, and he gave his sis­ter some sim­ple ad­vice.

“He goes, ‘Just blast it down,’ ” she said. The plan worked as Kang, re­ly­ing on her driver, hit 11 of 14 fair­ways and hasn’t made a bo­gey through 36 holes.

Kim moved up the leader­board with three birdies in her last five holes. They came on the tougher front-nine side, though play­ers caught a break as the swirling wind that

made club se­lec­tion dicey Thurs­day sub­sided in round two.

“For­tu­nately, when I tee off a lit­tle less windy,” Kim said, “so I was able to at­tack the pin.”

Gaby Lopez (Ar­kan­sas Ra­zor­backs) had a 72 and is 2 un­der go­ing into the week­end. Stacy Lewis (Ra­zor­backs) shot a 4-un­der 67 and is 1 un­der after two rounds.

Among those miss­ing the cut at 3 over were ma­jor cham­pi­ons Ariya Ju­tanu­garn, the No. 2 ranked player in the world, and Anna Nordqvist.

WEB.COM TOUR Shindler out front

Con­rad Shindler shot a 1-un­der 71 on Fri­day, but paired with his 10-un­der 62 on Thurs­day kept him in the lead at 11 un­der at the Web.com Tour’s Nashville Golf Open at Nashville, Tenn.

Shindler was one stroke ahead of Bran­don Harkins (65).

Tay­lor Moore (Ar­kan­sas Ra­zor­backs) shot a

sec­ond round of 70 and is 4 un­der go­ing into the week­end. Zack Fis­cher (Lit­tle Rock) had a 69 and is 3 un­der after two rounds.

Se­bas­tian Cap­pe­len (Ra­zor­backs) and Ethan Tracy (Ra­zor­backs) did not make the cut.

EURO­PEAN TOUR Otaegui, Uih­lein lead

GUYAN­COURT, France — Spa­niard Adrian Otaegui and Peter Uih­lein of the United States shared the lead at 8 un­der after rain dis­rupted play in the sec­ond round of the French Open on Fri­day.

Otaegui shot a 5-un­der 66 after rolling in six birdies on the Golf Na­tional course that will stage the Ry­der Cup next year.

English­man Tommy Fleet­wood and Swe­den’s Alexan­der Bjork took a share of third place, one shot be­hind the co-lead­ers.

Pep An­gles (Cen­tral Ar­kan­sas) shot a 2-un­der 70.

AP/CHARLES REX ARBOGAST

Brit­tany Lin­ci­come is one shot out of the lead after shoot­ing a 66 in Fri­day’s sec­ond round at the Women’s PGA Cham­pi­onship.

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