Ueda surges to three-shot lead after second round at Mizuno Classic

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Momoko Ueda, the 2007 Mizuno Classic champion, closed her second round with four straight birdies.
By
Associated Press

Series: LPGA Tour

Published: Saturday, November 05, 2011 | 5:02 a.m.

Japan's Momoko Ueda made six birdies on the back nine in an 8-under 64 to take a three-stroke lead after the second round of the LPGA Tour's Mizuno Classic on Saturday.

Ueda, who won this event in 2007, made her fourth straight birdie on the par-4 18th when she chipped in from the edge of the green to finish at 13-under 131.

MIZUNO CLASSIC

The Mizuno Classic in Japan marks the end of the LPGA Tour's autumn Asia Swing, which also included events in Malaysia, South Korea and Taiwan.

"I think I did a good job and it wasn't hard today," said Ueda, whose Mizuno Classic win in 2007 earned her LPGA membership in 2008. "But I was surprised to get that birdie on the 18th hole."

Japan's Sakura Yokomine was three strokes back after a course record 9-under 63 at the Kintetsu Kashikojima Country Club.

Second-year LPGA Tour member Mina Harigae of the United States shot a 5-under 67 and was tied for third with Japan's Mayu Hattori and China's Shanshan Feng at 9-under 135.

The 25-year-old Ueda, who has eight career wins on the Japan Tour, made her sixth birdie of the day on the par-5 16th when her approach landed 4 feet from the hole. She then made a 10-foot birdie putt on 17 to go to 12 under.

"Today was different even from the times that I have played good golf," said Ueda, who started the day one stroke off the lead. "It felt natural and relaxed."

Defending champion Jiyai Shin of South Korea shot a 71 and was tied for 26th at 4 under. Stacy Lewis of the United States was tied for 18th after a 71.

Harigae, the LPGA Futures Tour's 2009 Player of the Year, put herself in position to win her first LPGA Tour title.

"I was a little nervous and my drives weren't as good as yesterday, but my putting kept me going," said Harigae, who recorded seven birdies and two bogeys. "I'm glad I got used to playing in front of a big crowd today with Momoko so I'll be used to it in Sunday's final round."

The Mizuno Classic is co-sanctioned by the LPGA Tour and Japan LPGA Tour. Sunday's winner will take home $180,000.