MEXICO CITY (AFP) – Christina Kim clung to her lead by firing a three-under 69 in the second round of the US LPGA Tour’s Lorena Ochoa Invitational on Friday in Mexico City.
The 30-year-old American has one of the longest winless droughts on the tour – her last victory came almost a decade ago at the Tournament of Champions.
“It’s been a while since I’ve been in this position,” said Kim, who finished 36 holes at 10-under 134.
She entered the second round at the Club de Mexico course with a one-shot lead over Spain’s Azahara Munoz.
“Yesterday I was lucky enough to have two eagles so that immediately made the score a lot better. And I had no bogeys yesterday,” said Kim.
“Today I had two bogeys. It’s just difficult when you’re in the lead and there’s such a fantastic field and everyone’s coming after you.”
Christina Kim … three-under 69. AFP
Paula Creamer was the biggest threat to Kim. She finished the day with a sparkling 65 and is in sole possession of second at 135.
Norway’s Suzann Pettersen also had a strong day, shooting a six-under 66 and jumping into a tie for third place with Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum (68), 17-year-old LPGA Rookie of the Year Lydia Ko (69) and Munoz (71).
World number one Park Inbee is alone in 10th at 140 after a 70, while world No. 2 Stacy Lewis (70) is tied for 27th at two-over 146.
After going bogey free on day one, Kim stumbled to a couple of bogeys on Friday, but she was able to hang onto the lead.
Kim got off to a quick start as she drained three birdies on her first four holes.
Creamer also began her day well with three birdies in her first four holes on one, three and four.
“I just have a lot of confidence,” Creamer said of her putting. “It is my routine and what I do when I’m over the ball. It is the same every time. It’s more about speed instead of thinking about my stroke.
“I know that it’s solid and we’ve been working really hard on that.”