Leona Maguire heads into the weekend at the Chevron Championship six shots off the lead at the opening Major of the year after an improved second round at Mission Hills.
The Cavan woman found three birdies in a bogey-free three-under 69 to reach three-under-par for the week in Rancho Mirage, California, however she has ground to make up on midway leader Hinako Shibuno at nine-under-par.
Jordanstown’s Stephanie Meadow is also in for the weekend by the skin of her teeth after a level-par 72 in her second round which left her one-over-par for the tournament and just the right side of the cut line.
Maguire will not be giving up hope that she is in with a shot at challenging the top of the leaderboard over the weekend, particularly if she can post a good number early in Saturday’s third round, and she impressed by keeping the bogeys off the scorecard in round two.
However, she will know she needs more birdies if she is to chase down Hibuno, three coming on Friday as she picked up shots at the fifth, eighth and 11th on her way to a 69 that leaves her tied-20th.
Meanwhile, Meadow was thankful two late birdies at the end of her round didn’t cost herself a tee time on Saturday and Sunday as she scraped in without any shots to spare at Mission Hills.
The 30-year-old, who started the day one-over, had pulled herself under-par thanks to three straight birdies starting at the sixth – following a bogey at the second – but bogeys at the 13th and 16th left her with a nervy wait to see if she would need to stick around. Fortunately, the cut fell in Meadow’s favour, with the one-overs the last number to make it in and at tied-67th she will look to work her way up the leaderboard and secure as good a result as she can which would at least yield valuable world ranking points.
Meanwhile, Japan’s Shibuno placed herself at the top of the leaderboard with a six-under 66 in her second round to reach nine-under-par which has her one shot clear of American duo Annie Park and Jennifer Kupcho and defending champion Patty Tavatankit.
The 2019 Women’s Open champion carded seven birdies and one bogey on her way to the best round of the entire field on Friday and she is well placed to add a second Major to her CV if she can keep this form up over the weekend in Rancho Mirage.
She is followed closely by Park, who was only one shot worse on day two having signed for a five-under 67 to reach eight-under-par, with Tavatanakit’s 69 and Kupcho’s 70 manoeuvring them into a share of second as well.
A pair of Koreans are tied for fifth, with Sei Young Kim and Hyo Joo Kim both at seven-under-par after both finished with rounds of 67 on Friday, with the in-form Nanna Koerstz Madsen of Denmark and American Ally Ewing a shot further back at six-under.
- Full scores HERE
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