Ryu leads LPGA event after two rounds

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[May 07, 2016]    The Sports Xchange
 So Yeon Ryu's strong finish vaulted her into the second-round lead at the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic on Friday in Prattville, Ala.

With birdies on five of her final eight holes, Ryu posted a 7-under-par 65 for a 36-hole total of 9-under 135. She is two shots ahead of Ryann O'Toole, Morgan Pressel and Minjee Lee of Australia heading into the weekend.

Ryu, the 2011 U.S. Women's Open champion who is seeking her first win since 2014, ran off three straight birdies starting at the second hole. She also birdied Nos. 6 and 8 at Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail's Capitol Hill complex and avoided a bogey in the windy conditions.

Rye said her putter was working in the second round after being somewhat balky on the greens Thursday. She needed just 27 putts on Friday.

"Today, I pretty much made everything," she said. "Especially happy with having a bogey-free round and having seven birdies under my belt really feels good."

O'Toole turned in the best second-round score among the three players tied for second with a 67 after a birdie on her final hole. Pressel fired a 68 and Lee a 70 after a closing bogey.

Pressel made only one bogey during the first two rounds.

"I've made a lot of good putts, both for birdie and for par, and just haven't put myself in a lot of trouble," she said. "It's very difficult to play in the wind. I just really tried to stay patient out there and get birdies when I had the opportunity."

Laetitia Beck, the surprise leader after the first round, slipped back to 6 under with a 73 after her opening 65. She is the first player from Israel to play on the LPGA Tour.

"I'm going to learn from today and hopefully handle the pressure a little better tomorrow," Beck said.

Also at 6 under with Beck were Annie Park (71) and Caroline Masson (68) of Germany.

At 5 under were Stacy Lewis (68), who won the tournament in 2012, Brittany Lincicome (67), Hyo Joo Kim (68) and Amy Yang of South Korea, Gerina Piller, Paula Reto of South Africa and Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand.

Michelle Wie shot a 72 and was at 1 under. Defending champion Kris Tamulis missed the cut.


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