Kang needs guidance, heeds brother’s advice
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.
Brittany Lincicome is one shot out of the lead after shooting a 66 in Friday’s second round at the Women’s PGA Championship.