RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – Inbee Park took the second-round lead Friday in the Kraft Nabisco Championship, making three birdies in a row early on the back nine and rebounding from a wind-blown bogey with four straight pars.
Finishing in gusty conditions on another hot afternoon at Mission Hills, the 24-year-old South Korean player shot a 5-under 67 to reach 7-under 137.
Obviously, putted really good out there, especially on the back nine, Park said. The wind picked up, so it was tough out there on the back nine. Last four holes, I made all pars. I’m really happy with that.
American Lizette Salas was a stroke back after a 68, and Sweden’s Carolina Hedwall and Italy’s Giulia Sergas followed at 5-under 139. Hedwall shot 68, and Sergas had a 69.
Park is seeking her second major title after winning the 2008 U.S. Women’s Open Championship.
I just like to stay a little quiet and just do my own thing, Park said. If I win a little more, I think I’ll get a little bit more attention.
Park hit a sand wedge from 70 yards to 2 feet for birdie on the par-5 11th to take the lead at 5 under, then hit 9-iron approaches to 7 feet on the next two holes to set up two more birdies.
The wind pushed her tee shot on the par-3 14th into the left bunker, leading to her lone bogey of the day, and she avoided further trouble on the final four holes.
We were playing about a club and a half of a breeze there and it was getting tough, Park said. I’m just happy that I have a chance on the weekend that I can win.
Michelle Wie shot a 70 to reach 2 under. She had six birdies, but three-putted the 18th for the last of her four bogeys.
Playing partner Lydia Ko, the 15-year-old New Zealand amateur who won the Canadian Women’s Open last August, was 2 over after a 74.
Former Fort Wayne resident Amanda Blumeherst missed the cut after shooting a 6-over 78 for a 13-over 157 total.
PGA: In San Antonio, Rory McIlroy matched the low round of the day with a 5-under 67 for a 5-under 139 total and moved within three shots of the lead at the Texas Open. McIlroy is three shots back of leader Billy Horschel, who birdied his last two holes to post his second straight 4-under 68. Three players are two shots back at 6-under 138.