Maguire & Meadow struggle at LA Open as Ko and Hataoka lead the way

Adam McKendry
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Maguire & Meadow struggle at LA Open as Ko and Hataoka lead the way

Leona Maguire (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

Leona Maguire will return to Wilshire Country Club on Saturday morning in the faintest of hopes that she will make the cut at the DIO Implant LA Open but, more than likely, her race is run.

The Cavan woman is tied-77th after she shot her second consecutive two-over 73 in Los Angeles to sit four-over-par and, although mathematically the cut line could fall to that number with several players still to finish their second rounds, it would take some of them to have significant collapses to do so.

It means Maguire will likely miss her first cut since last October’s Cognizant Founders Cup and her run of patchy form since returning to the States continues, with the 27-year-old having finished no better than 39th in her last four events.

It was an up-and-down day for the European Solheim Cup star, who got off to a good start with a birdie at the par-three fourth, but she immediately gave it back at the par-four fifth and then a double-bogey at the par-three seventh was followed by another bogey at the par-four eighth to drop her to five-over.

Although she would bounce back with birdies at the ninth and 11th, they came in amongst bogeys at the 10th, 12th and 14th to leave her scrambling, and even though she gave herself a chance with back-to-back birdies at 15 and 16, it doesn’t look like it will be enough.

Stephanie Meadow also misses out on the weekend, although her first round did all the damage and a one-over 72 on day two was never going to be good enough to make up for her opening 77 as she ended the tournament at seven-over-par.

Any slim hopes of the Jordanstown woman managing to get back inside the cut line were ended when she took a double-bogey six at the par-four sixth and though she recovered with birdies at the seventh and 13th, a bogey on her final hole ensured she would card another over-par round.

At the top, World No.1 Jin Young Ko is there again after a seven-under 64 rocketed her into a share of the lead with Japan’s Nasa Hataoka at the halfway stage at seven-under-par for the week.

The Korean had just one blip on her second round scorecard around eight birdies to assume her by now very familiar position at the top of the leaderboard, with Hataoka joining her after a stunning finish saw her string together three straight birdies for a 68.

Their lead is two shots going into the weekend, with Australia’s Hannah Green signing for a 67 that moves her up to five-under-par, while her fellow countrywoman Minjee Lee and Korea’s Haeji Kang are hanging in there at four-under-par.

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