Friday, September 30, 2016


South Korea’s Mi Jung Hur and Canada’s Brooke Henderson sit tied at the top of the leaderboard at 14-under par after two days of play at the Reignwood LPGA Classic.

Hur wowed the crowd by finishing her final four holes at -5, with a chip-in eagle on the 16th followed by another eagle at the last. Her 63 on Friday broke the tournament 18-hole scoring record set by three players in 2013 and also counts as a personal best career score to par for the 26-year-old.

“I just can say, ‘Oh, my gosh’ for my last round,” said Hur. “Everything is doing really good. Even I made one bogey on second. I miss my tee shot to right and had an unplayable; hit three on the green and made a two-putt. After that, I mean, everything was working really good for the day.”

It was the second 63 of Hur’s career (2015 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship) but the first time she has crossed the 10-under mark in a round.

Henderson birdied five of her first six holes on her way to a second consecutive 66 and will hold at least a share of the lead heading into the weekend for the sixth time in her LPGA career. The teenager walked away with the trophy in the last three tournaments that she was leading after two rounds.

“I felt like today could be a good day, which is always a good feeling to have,” Henderson said. “One bogey, which kind of set me back a little bit, but then some more birdies on the back nine to get to 7-under, and 14-under par, which is really nice, especially only two days into the championship and I know I have two more days left. Really looking forward to it. Hopefully have two more 7-under rounds.”

The co-leaders will be joined by fan-favorite and 2013 Reignwood LPGA Classic champion Shanshan Feng (-13) in the final group on Saturday. Feng, who holds the tournament scoring record at 26-under par, had nine birdies during her second round 65.

“I know that there will be a lot of the Chinese fans coming this time also,” said Feng. “I’m really excited to see them. Normally when I’m overseas I actually don’t get too many spectators, fans coming to watch me, cheering me, so it’s special. I really like it.”

A trio of South Koreans will follow in the group behind the leaders including In-Kyung Kim (-12), 2014 champion Mirim Lee (-10) and Amy Yang (-9). First round leader Ariya Jutanugarn (-6) fell back after shooting 75 on Friday.

Mi Jung Hur has a different caddie on the bag for this week only. After fellow South Korean So Yeon Ryu withdrew from the Reignwood LPGA Classic, Hur called her friend and asked if she could borrow her caddie for the week. Hur’s normal caddie got to stay at home and will meet her in Taiwan next week.

“I just called to So Yeon and said maybe I can work with Tom this week, her caddie,” Hur explained. “My caddie’s name is Jack. Tom was already on the plane; Jack wasn’t. So I just called to Jack and said, ‘We have this situation. What do you think?’ He said, ‘Maybe I can change my flight to Taiwan and you can work with Tom.’”

South Korea’s In-Kyung Kim has found her form of late and is in prime position for another strong finish this week. Kim roared to a five-shot victory at the ISPS Handa Ladies European Masters on the Ladies European Tour earlier this month, and followed that up with a season-best sixth place finish at The Evian Championship the following week.

Kim credited her driving accuracy and a few good breaks in helping her start strong in Beijing.

“You know what? Like if I can play like today I feel like I have a lot of opportunities out there. Yeah, I had a lot of good read as well and a little bit of luck maybe.”

The Red Bull Final Five Challenge returns at the Reignwood LPGA Classic this year. The 5-hole challenge awards the player with the lowest cumulative score in relation to par for tournament holes 14-18 throughout the week.

Mi Jung Hur and Mirim Lee are currently tied for the lead in the challenge at 6-under par on holes 14-18 through Friday.

The winner of the challenge will receive $50,000 USD at the conclusion of the tournament. Players need to finish all 4 rounds, 72 holes (or the official number of rounds completed in this year’s Reignwood LPGA Classic if shortened due to weather) to be eligible.

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