SYLVANIA, Ohio — Sei Young Kim shot a 7-under 64 on Friday to take a one-stroke lead over U.S. Women’s Open champion Jeongeun Lee6 in the Marathon Classic.
Kim had four straight birdies on Nos. 3-6 and also birdied the par-4 12th and 15th holes and the par-5 18th to get to 11-under 131 at Highland Meadows Golf Club. The South Korean player won the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship in May in California for her eighth tour title.
“My play wasn’t good the last two weeks,” Kim said. “I’m just trying to do my best this week. So, I’m very happy with the (better) result than I expected.
Lee6 shot her second straight 66. The South Korean birdied two of the last three holes.
“It was pretty good,” Lee6 said. “The greens were not too soft, not too firm. It was so easy to play with my second shot in order to control my shots. Satisfied with it.”
Lexi Thompson, Stacy Lewis and Jennifer Kupcho were 9 under. Kupcho shot 66, Thompson 67, and Lewis 68, with Lewis playing alongside Kim the first two days.
Lewis won the last of her 12 LPGA Tour titles in 2017. She was born in nearby Toledo and has an endorsement deal with Marathon Oil. From Texas, she’s treated like a hometown player.
“I love it,” Lewis said. “It was pressure at first, but now it’s fun. It’s nice having the crew out there behind me and give them something to cheer about this year, which is awesome.”
Kupcho is making her sixth tour start as a pro. The former Wake Forest star won the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur in April.
“I’m hitting the ball really good this week, reading the putts well, and putting good rolls on them,” Kupcho said.
She parred the par-5 17th and 18th after birdieing three of the previous four holes.
“Obviously, walking off 17 and 18, two par 5s to finish, you expect to get at least one,” Kupcho said. “Left 17 short and just pushed 18’s putt. It’s a little upsetting.”
Thompson is coming off a two-week break.
“I just took yesterday’s round and came into today with the same confidence and same mindset,” Thompson said. “Just firing at pins and focusing on one shot at a time. I feel good with where my game is at. It was perfect weather. Couldn’t ask for anything better.”
Yealimi Noh, the 17-year-old from California who tied for sixth last week in Wisconsin in her LPGA Tour debut, missing the cut with rounds of 73 and 72. She played on a sponsor exemption after Monday qualifying last week.
Romo leads in Tahoe
STATELINE, Nev. — Defending champion Tony Romo birdied six of his final 11 holes to take the first-round lead Friday in the American Century Championship at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course.
The former Dallas Cowboys quarterback turned NFL analyst shot a 2-under 70 and scored 26 points in the celebrity tournament that uses the modified Stableford scoring system.
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Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson was two points back, and former major league pitcher Derek Lowe was another point behind. Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz was fourth at 22, and actor Jack Wagner, a two-time winner in the event, had 21.
Romo, who has competed in two PGA Tour events this year, played the back nine in 5-under 31 after getting off to a slow start with two bogeys and a double bogey on his first five holes.
“I think I had two points after five holes,” Romo said. “So from that point on, I got pretty hot.”
Charles Barkley, the former NBA star who has regularly finished last or second to last, birdied the second hole.
“Did he hit somebody and they threw it in the hole,” Romo joked.
Barkley was at minus-12 points, but was ahead of 14 players in the 90-player field.
Wiesberger joins Scottish Open leaders
NORTH BERWICK, Scotland — Bernd Wiesberger carded a 10-under 61 at the Scottish Open to move into a three-way tie for the lead after the second round on Friday.
The lowest round of Wiesberger’s career on the European Tour lifted him alongside England’s Lee Slattery and South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen, who shot consecutive 64s to be at 14 under.
They were two strokes ahead of Henrik Stenson and Nino Bertasio of Italy. Stenson remained bogey-free after a second 65, while Bertasio dropped a shot on his last hole.
A shot further back at 11 under was a group of five including former No. 1 Justin Thomas, who made eight birdies and a bogey in a 64. Thomas has an eye on improving his poor record in the British Open next week having missed the cut in the last two years following a tie for 53rd on his debut at Royal Troon in 2016.
“If you told me I’d be 11 under I would not have guessed I’d be three shots back but I’m very happy to post two good scores,” said Thomas, who was sidelined by a wrist injury this season.
Dry and calm conditions smoothed the way for another glut of low scores at The Renaissance Club. Rory McIlroy was at 8 under, six off the pace, after a pair of 67s but playing partner Rickie Fowler missed the cut at 5 under by one stroke.
Matt Kuchar, tied with three others for the lead after the opening round, slipped to 9 under after a 1-under 71. He began and ended his round with double bogeys.
Wiesberger won his fifth European Tour title in May at the Made in Denmark, and was tied for second last week at the Irish Open. Shooting 10 under for the first time as a pro “was a nice bonus,” the Austrian said.
“It’s just going with the flow,” he added. “I’m not thinking too much.”
After starting on the back nine, he made the turn in 32. He finished with five successive birdies.