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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, July 07, 2018 1:00 am

Golf

Simpson falls to 2nd after his 67

Associated Press

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. – Kelly Kraft is about to find out whether he's ready to handle the lead entering the weekend for the first time on the PGA Tour.

Kraft shot a 7-under 63 in the second round of A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier on Friday to take a one-stroke edge over first-round leader Webb Simpson and Anirban Lahiri of India.

Simpson, who shot a first-round 61, shot a 67 Friday.

Kraft posted his career-best round at the Old White TPC. He was at 13-under 127.

Kraft is looking to turn around a season that has included missed cuts in seven of his 10 previous tournaments, including last week at the Quicken Loans National. But he has had some success in West Virginia, where he tied for fifth last year.

“I've kind of changed my attitude a little bit starting with last week,” Kraft said. “I just feel like I'm ready to keep playing good.”

Kraft made four birdies on the front nine and didn't let a bogey on the par-5 12th hole derail him. He added birdies on the next two holes and took the lead with a six-foot birdie putt on the par-4 16th.

Reminded that it's his first time leading a PGA Tour event after 36 holes, Kraft said he was confident.

“I've been up there before and I know I can play out here,” he said. “I'm just looking for two more low ones and a bunch of scoring opportunities.”

Lahiri shot a career-low 61 and Simpson had a 67. Both were at 12 under.

LPGA: In Oneida, Wisconsin, Sei Young Kim birdied her first four holes Friday to shoot a 7-under 65 and surge to the lead after the second round of the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic.

Kim was at 16-under 128 – tied for the tour's lowest of the season – and four shots ahead of Yu Liu.

Jump-started by an eagle on the par-5 third, Liu made a big move with the day's best round with a 63 to get to 12 under and grab sole possession of second place.

Defending champion Katherine Kirk, who led after shooting 10-under 62 in the first round, couldn't get her putting going, though, and settled for 71. She was one of five players who were five shots off the pace at 133.

EUROPEAN: In Donegal, Ireland, Ryan Fox of New Zealand, Matthieu Pavon of France and Erik van Rooyen the Netherlands shared the lead after the second round of the Irish Open, while former Danny Willett shot a 2-under 70 to catapult into contention at Ballyliffin Golf and Country Club.

Willett, 30, of England, was two shots behind Fox (69), Pavon (68) and Van Rooyen (65).

Joakim Lagergren was one off the lead at 7-under.