Pettersen leads by 5 in South Korea
Incheon, South Korea (Sports Network) - Suzann Pettersen birdied four of her last six holes on Saturday to move five strokes clear of the field after two rounds of the LPGA KEB - HanaBank Championship.
Pettersen finished 36 holes at 13-under-par 131. A day after she set the 18- hole scoring record on the Ocean Course at Sky 72 Golf Club with a 63, her two-day total established a new 36-hole mark.
Her total of 131 bettered the old record by three strokes. Soo-Jin Yang posted 134 through 36 holes last year.
So Yeon Ryu carded a 2-under 70 on Saturday and is alone second at minus-8.
Defending champion and women's world No. 1 Yani Tseng also shot 70 to finish two rounds at 7-under-par 137. She was joined in third place by Se Ri Pak (67) and Sandra Gal (68).
"I mean, today was tougher than yesterday, and I had a couple wrong decisions on the front nine, so I made a couple bogeys there," Tseng said. "And I had two 3-putts. The greens were very tricky today, but I hung in there and I finished strong, last five I had three birdies. So always very happy to get a finish like that on 18 and enjoy the crowd. I think it's very important, kind of makes your day."
Lexi Thompson (70), Catriona Matthew (70), Ha Neul Kim (72) and Azahara Munoz (72) share sixth place at minus-6.
Pettersen, the 2007 champion, started her round with seven straight pars and was joined in the lead by Ryu and Karin Sjodin. Pettersen regained the lead with a birdie on the seventh.
"It just felt like I got out there this morning and I didn't really expect it to be as breezy as it was," Pettersen said. "Not that it was extremely windy, but it was a little different yesterday, and it almost took me nine holes to kind of adjust to the conditions."
The 31-year-old stumbled to a bogey on No. 8 and that left her tied for the lead with Sjodin. After four consecutive pars from the ninth, the Norwegian caught fire.
Pettersen, an eight-time winner on the LPGA Tour, birdied the par-5 13th to move one clear of Ryu. Two holes later, Pettersen converted another birdie try to push her lead to two.
After a par on 16. Pettersen closed with back-to-back birdies to give herself a comfortable four-shot lead heading to the final round.
"Very happy the way I finished. I was standing on 15 and said to myself, it would be nice to finish with two or three birdies, and I think that's what I did. Good way to finish the day," Pettersen stated.
Ryu, last year's U.S. Women's Open winner, had three birdies in a five-hole span from the third to reach minus-9. She tripped to a bogey on the par-3 eighth.
Around the turn, Ryu recovered that stroke with a birdie on the 12th. She tripped to another bogey at 17 before closing with a par at the last.
NOTES: Pettersen owns the 36-hole lead for the 10th time in her LPGA Tour career and she has turned four of them into victories...Morgan Pressel withdrew prior to the start of round two with an injury.
10/20 09:37:12 ET