KANG AND KIM GO LOW IN THE MORNING, SHARE COMMON GOAL
Danielle Kang and Sei Young Kim posted matching 66s Friday morning at Olympia Fields and are tied for the lead after two rounds of the KMPG Women’s PGA Championship. Young rebounded from a double bogey-bogey-bogey stretch late in her opening round to post 6 birdies against only one bogey morning. Kang, meanwhile, played bogey-free golf for a second consecutive day and the last of her five birdies came on the 18th, a par-5. Both Kang and Kim own two-day totals of 135 and are attempting to seize the first major championship of their respective careers. Five players trail the lead by one, headlined by two-time major champion Brittany Lincicome.
MORE: KPMG Women's PGA Championship full leaderboard | Photo Gallery
KELLY SHON MATCHES 18-HOLE CHAMPIONSHIP AND NORTH COURSE RECORD
Kelly Shon completed a 22-hole day’s work Friday that featured an 8-under-par 63 to tie the 18-hole KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and Olympia Fields North Course competitive course records. In the process, she set a second-round Championship mark and eagled the same hole twice.
Shon bettered her personal competitive best by two strokes while matching the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship 18-hole mark by Patty Sheehan (1984, 3rd round, par-72) and Meg Mallon (1999, 3rd round, par-71). She also tied the North Course competitive record set by Vijay Singh (2003 U.S. Open) and Rickie Fowler (2007 Fighting Illini Invitational).
“I’m really honored by joining those names, especially in a major,” said Shon. “Today, I had good numbers into the greens. It was easy picking out clubs.”
The 25-year-old from Port Washington, New York, began Friday morning by completing four holes of a rain-delayed first round by holing a 90-foot eagle putt on the par-5 18th hole.
Beginning her second round on No. 10, Shon birdied Nos. 14 and 15, before hitting a 3-wood to No. 18 and making a swinging 36-foot eagle putt. She closed out the gem of a round with birdies on 1, 3, 4 and 8. “I didn’t know that I had a chance for a record when I hit my approach to No. 9 (her final hole),” said Shon. “I had a 30-footer for birdie and it wasn’t that close.”
MCDONALD POSTS RARE BACK-TO-BACK EAGLES
Ally McDonald of Fulton, Mississippi, accomplished one of golf’s rare feats while “getting back into the hunt” in the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. McDonald made back-to-back eagles on consecutive par-5s, holes 18 and 1 as she started on the 10th, which temporarily lifted her to within two strokes of the lead at 5-under-par. She cooled off after that to finish with a 70 and stand four strokes behind co-leaders Danielle Kang and Sei Young Kim.
KANG LOOKING TO COMPLETE RARE 1-2 PUNCH
Tied for the lead after 36 holes, Danielle Kang is a 2-time U.S. Women’s Amateur Champion (2010 and ’11). This weekend, she’s attempting to become the first player to win the U.S. Women’s Amateur and the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship since Juli Inkster completed the circuit in 1999. Inkster won this Championship in both 1999 and ’00; she previously won three straight U.S. Women’s Amateurs from 1980-82.
KIM’S CONTENDED BEFORE AND HER RESUME IS IMPRESSIVE
Sei Young Kim has six career wins to her credit, the latest of which came in May at the Citibanamex Lorena Ochoa Match Play presented by Aeromexico and Delta. Kim’s best finish in a major championship came in the 2015 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Westchester Country Club, where she entered the final round two shots behind Inbee Park. Kim’s closing 71 was not enough, as she finished runner-up, five shots behind her countrywoman, who captured her third consecutive KPMG Women’s Championship. Kim did win three times in 2015 to earn the LPGA’s Louise Suggs Rookie of the Year award.
Danielle Kang has played two rounds of bogey-free golf this week at Olympia Fields. She is the only player in the field that can stake this claim.
LUCKY NUMBER 13
Defending KPMG Women’s PGA Champion Brooke Henderson continued her impressive streak of made cuts at major championships. This weekend, the 19-year-old Canadian will improve to a perfect 13-for-13. Henderson sits two strokes back of the lead after starting the Championship, 68-69.
WEATHER THE STORM
2016 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship runner-up Lydia Ko made a charge up the leaderboard early in her second round. Birdies at holes 3, 4, 6 and 7 brought the 20-year-old’s Championship score to 4-under-par, but three bogeys over her four next holes wiped out the strong start. Ko finished with birdies on holes 16 and 18 to post a second-round, 3-under-par 68 and reach 4-under-par 138 for the Championship. The No. 3 ranked player in the world trails the leaders by three strokes.
PGA/LPGA CLUB PROFESSIONALS
Wendy Doolan of Lakeland, Florida, turned in rounds of 77 and 73 to head a group of nine PGA and LPGA Club Professional finishers. Doolan was followed by Lisa Grimes, Alexandria, Minnesota (76-75); Jessica Carafiello, Stamford, Connecticut (77-78); Alison Curdt, Woodland Hills, California (76-79); Hillery Sence, Maryland Heights, Missouri (80-76); Karen Paolozzi, Atlanta, Georgia (80-78); Jean Bartholomew, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida (81-79); Kristin Walla, Newport Beach, California (82-81); and Amanda McCurdy, Arlington, Texas (81-82).
Round 2 was suspended at 2:09 p.m. for a total of 33 minutes on Friday due to dangerous weather conditions. Players were brought to shelter before returning to their positions on the course.