Friday, October 14, 2016


clear skies and an eagle, amidst firm greens
Rolex Rankings No. 21 Brittany Lang charged up the leaderboard at the KEB HanaBank LPGA Championship in Friday’s second round, shooting a bogey-free 65 to move to 10-under-par and take a one-stroke lead over first-round leader Alison Lee. Lang tallied five birdies on the day, opening with a birdie on the first hole and finishing with a flurry as she birdied the 18th. The reigning U.S. Women’s Open champion also recorded her fifth eagle of the season on the par-5 15th.

Lang credited the weather and greens conditions for her strong play. “It was a really enjoyable day. The greens are really firm but roll really nice. It was such a perfect day of weather.”

Lang shared her strategy with the firm greens. “You know, just hitting at the center of the greens and getting looks, because on firm greens I think that’s really important. Lang needed only 27 putts for the round. 

Luke, Brittany’s older brother and long-time caddy, is with her this week. Golf runs in the family and he was once an All-Conference golfer at Arkansas Tech. “I’m very lucky to have Luke on the bag,” she said. “We’ve been at it for a long time, so we kind of have a nice rhythm. He knows me, I know him. We work really well together.”

Lang is searching for her second win this season, the other was her first major win at the U.S. Women’s Open in July. She also has four additional top-10 finishes in 2016.

Rolex Rankings No. 44 Alison Lee continued her strong play for Round 2 and carded a 2-under 70 for a total of 9-under pa.  With a mixed scorecard of three birdies, three bogeys and an eagle on the 15th hole, Lee still sits two strokes ahead of a pair of golfers tied for third – fellow American Cristie Kerr and Korea LPGA (KLPGA) member Sung Hyun Park.

While Lee has 10 career top-10 finishes over her first two seasons on Tour, she is still seeking her first LPGA vicgtory.

“I would definitely say a lot of pressure, especially this week, I’m in a good position to win this week,” Lee said. “Hopefully I can get it down. It’s a huge goal, dream of mine to win out here. I’m going to do my best to try not to think about it the next few days and just play golf, and hopefully everything will just fall into place.”

Lee tees off tomorrow with fellow Solheim Cup Team USA players Brittany Lang and Cristie Kerr.

On participating in Se Ri Pak’s retirement ceremony the other day, Lee said, “I was definitely teary eyed. A lot of girls around me were teary eyed. Just showed what a huge impact she had on all of us. It was really cool to see and I was really thankful I was able to watch her play on the LPGA Tour and also play against her on the LPGA Tour and now see her retire.”

by the numbers

3 – Americans who are among the top 4 players on the leaderboard after Friday’s second round (Brittany Lang, Alison Lee, & Cristie Kerr)

5 – Number of top-10 finishes recorded by KLPGA member Sung Hyun Park in 7 LPGA events she has played so far in 2016

23 – Total number of rounds in the 60s through the first two days of the KEB HanaBank LPGA Championship

T8 – Cristie Kerr’s best finish in 9 appearances at the KEB HanaBank LPGA Championship

Since Cristie Kerr broke through for her first LPGA win in 2002, she has made winning a common place thing. Over her last 14 seasons on Tour (2002-2015, only three times has Kerr finished the year without at least one victory to her credit.

The 25-time winner is still looking for her first victory of the 2016 season but she put herself in the hunt for that victory thanks to a 7-under 65 in Friday’s second round. She sits in a tie for third with Sung Hyun Park, three shots behind leader Brittany Lang.

Kerr has yet to tally a top-5 finish this season, although she has 2 top-10s so far.

Entering this week’s LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship, only four points separated Ariya Jutanugarn and Lydia Ko for the coveted Rolex Player of the Year award.

Ko held the top spot in the race with 247 points prior to the start of the LPGA’s fall Asia swing, but two weeks ago Jutanugarn became the new leader at 251 points, thanks to her sixth place finish at the Reignwood LPGA Classic.

Both players will need to put together a few strong rounds if they are going to earn any points in the race this week in Korea. Ko followed up a 3-over 75 in Thursday’s first round with a 3-under 69 on Friday and sits in a to sit in a tie 33rd at even-par. Jutanugarn carded her second straight 1-over 73 and is tied for 47th at 2-over-par.

Points for the Rolex Player of the Year are awarded to the top-10 finishers each week on the LPGA Tour. Time is running out for both players to solidify the honor, as Ko is set to play three more events after this week while Jutanugarn is slated to play four more.

Quick Facts

October 13 - 16
LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship
SKY72 Golf & Resort, Ocean Course
Incheon, Korea

Field: 76 professionals, 2 amateurs
Format: 72-hole stroke play; no cut
Par: 72
Yardage: 6316
Purse: $2,000,000
               Winner:  $300,000
Defending Champion: Lexi Thompson  

TV Times
Golf Channel
October 13                    12:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
October 13                    11:30 p.m. - 3:00 a.m.
October 14                    11:30 p.m. - 3:00 a.m.
October 15                    11:30 p.m. - 3:00 a.m.
All times listed are Eastern (Korea is 13 hours ahead)

Sponsor Invitations (7)
Yoon Kyung Heo, KLPGA
Yu-Sang Hou (a)
Min Lee, LPGA
Ju Young Pak (Park), LPGA
Se Ri Pak, LPGA
Chae Yoon Park, KLPGA
Eun Jeong Seong (a)

Past Champions
2015: Lexi Thompson, 68-67-69-69=273 (-15)
2014: Kyu Jung Baek, 74-69-68-67=278 (-10)
2013: Amy Yang, 67-71-69 =207 (-9)
2012: Suzann Pettersen, 63-68-74=205 (-11)

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