Stephanie Meadow overcame wind gusts of up to 30 mph to move to the edge of the top 10 at the LPGA Tour’s LOTTE Championship in Hawaii.
After her first top 10 since the Olympics in the JTBC Classic with a tie for 35th place in the Chevron Championship, the Jordanstown star, 30, put on a brilliant back nine at Hoakalei Country Club.
Tied 26th overnight, she followed an early bogey in 2nd place with birdies in 10th, 16th and 18th and moved up to tied 11th with 3-unders.
She is seven shots behind South Korea’s Hyo Joo Kim, who hit a 67 without a bogey for the second straight year to take a three-shot lead from Australia’s Sarah Kemp at 10-under.
Meadow missed five greens on her second round but fought brilliantly to keep her sights set on the lead as Leona Maguire (27) made five bogeys against two birdie fours in a 75 that dropped her to 48th by two overs let.
Kim carded five birdies in the second round, with the highlight being a 19-foot chip-in in the sixth round.
“I’m satisfied that I played the same score and bogey-free round as yesterday, but more that I’m satisfied with today’s game than I was yesterday,” said Kim, a four-time LPGA Tour winner.
“Of course there was a mistake. But the reason I’m very happy is that it’s a smaller mistake than yesterday.”
Kemp carded a bogey-free 69 and chipped on the 14th for the third time of the week.
“I couldn’t believe I had another one today,” Kemp said. “My caddy was kind of joking and he was like, ‘Then I’ll only meet you briefly on most of these.'”
Ariya Jutanugarn and Haeji Kang are third with a six-under, while first-round leader Hannah Green followed her first 66 with a 76 and heads into the weekend tied in 17th place with a two-under .
Joining Green in 17th place is LPGA Tour rookie Allisen Corpuz, the only Hawaiian in the field.
“I’m really just trying to make the cut at every event that I play, and this one is definitely very special for making the cut at home,” she said. “So it means a lot to me that I’m playing at the weekend this year.”
https://www.independent.ie/sport/golf/stephanie-meadow-leads-irish-challenge-in-hawaii-thanks-to-a-brilliant-back-nine-41556184.html Stephanie Meadow leads the Irish challenge in Hawaii thanks to a brilliant back nine