South Korea’s Kim In-kyung took advantage of greens softened by overnight rain to hold an early three-shot clubhouse lead in Friday’s second round of the U.S. Women’s Open in Southampton, New York.
Despite gusting winds and several tough pin positions at Sebonack Country Club, Kim produced some pinpoint approach play as she fired a three-under-par 69 to take control of the third women’s major of the season.
The 25-year-old Korean, seeking her first major victory and a fourth win on the LPGA Tour, mixed five birdies with two bogeys to post a seven-under total of 137, finishing three ahead of American Lizette Salas, who carded an even 72.
“I felt good out there,” Kim told reporters after making two birdies in her last three holes, at the seventh and eighth. “Definitely more wind out there but the greens were a little softer with the rain, so I was able to give myself some chances.
“I did a lot of preparation this winter and all the hard work kind of pays off but still there’s a lot of golf to play.
“I feel confident because I feel I have been in contention a few times this year,” said the Korean, who has posted six top-10s in 12 starts on the 2013 LPGA Tour, including a tie for fourth at last week’s Walmart NW Arkansas Championship.
Asked to assess her position going into the weekend, Kim replied: “I have come a long way the last two days. When you start a U.S. Open, you can’t really tell what score you are going to have.
“I think that kind of helps me too. I don’t really think of the score too much.”