China’s Yin Ruoning fired eight birdies in a career-low LPGA Tour round of seven-under 64 on Friday to grab a share of the second-round lead with Kim Hyo-joo at the Los Angeles Open.
Yin (20) teed off on the 10th at Palos Verdes Golf Club and was three under through her first eight holes.
She picked up four birdies in a five-hole stretch, including three straight at the 5th, 6th and 7th on the way to a 10-under par total of 132.
Kim, whose five LPGA Tour titles include a Major at the 2014 Evian Championship, carded her second straight 66, posting five birdies without a bogey.
Yin, playing the second event of her second LPGA campaign, was impressive on the greens, needing just 24 putts.
She had seven straight one-putts on the first through seventh holes, but she said the real key to her round was ball-striking.
“I felt my game was in a pretty solid spot right now. I can strike the ball well and my approach shot is pretty good,” she said.
“Last year I only play fade with every shot. This off-season I was working on maybe hitting a little draw, and I think that works,” she said.
Kim had two birdies on the front nine and three coming in, taking advantage of all three par-fives.
But she said avoiding a bogey was key.
“There were a couple situations actually where I could have carded a bogey, but in those instances my putter worked well,” she said.
The leading duo were one stroke in front of Japan’s defending champion Nasa Hataoka, who posted a 66. Canadian Maude-Aimee Leblanc was in fourth on 134 after a second straight 67.
South Korean Lee Mi-hyang, the Monday qualifier who led after the first round, slipped seven shots off the pace with a three-over par 74.
South Africa’s Paulo Reto is on even par (T40) after carding another 71, while countrywomen Ashleigh Buhai missed the cut after rounds of 79 and 71 left her on eight over.
© Agence France-Presse