ROGERS, Ark. (AP) — Angela Park’s final putt was as impressive as her round – an uphill birdie attempt from about 25 feet that capped a 10-under 62.
Kristy McPherson wasn’t about to be outdone.
McPherson answered Park with a birdie of her own, sinking a downhill putt from the fringe, about 20 feet from the hole. The two playing partners were within a stroke of the lead Saturday in the second round of the LPGA Tour’s NW Arkansas Championship.
“Obviously, everything went right today,” said Park, who equaled the lowest round on the LPGA Tour this year.
Park and McPherson were at 11 under with one round remaining in the 54-hole event at Pinnacle Country Club. Meena Lee shot a 65 in the second round to finish the day at 12 under. Several players were still on the course late Saturday afternoon in the tournament has been delayed twice by rain.
Seon Hwa Lee, who opened with a 64, didn’t start her second round until after Park and McPherson finished. Seon Hwa Lee struggled to keep pace, starting her second round with seven straight pars before a birdie on No. 8.
McPherson also finished her first round at 8 under, playing the final five holes Saturday morning. Friday’s start was pushed back about five hours because of bad weather, and rain halted play for over 90 minutes Saturday. McPherson shot a 69 in the second round, and Park caught up on the 6,238-yard course.
“I didn’t play bad golf this afternoon,” McPherson said. “I just got lapped.”
Park finished with four straight birdies and made 11 in the round. She is playing with confidence after tying for third last weekend at the U.S. Women’s Open.
“Everything just went the way I wanted, and I had nothing on my mind,” Park said. “Just one shot at a time – like any golf mentor will tell you.”
McPherson was hurt by a bogey on No. 13, a 460-yard par 5 that Park birdied.
“That one’s supposed to be the easiest hole on the golf course, isn’t it?” McPherson said.
McPherson shot a first-round 66 at this event last year and was one shot off the lead, but the tournament was called off after 18 holes because of rain. The weather has been a factor this year, too, but the delays are only part of the story. The wet course has allowed low scores.
“Because of the rain, the course overall was a lot softer today,” Meena Lee said through a translator. “It was easier to hit the iron shots today.”
Meena Lee, a two-time LPGA winner, hasn’t finished higher than 12th this year.
Jeong Jang and Jee Young Lee shot 69s in the second round and were three strokes behind the leader. Seon Hwa Lee and Eun-Hee Ji also were 9 under while still playing the second round.
Cristie Kerr moved into contention with a 65 after an even-par first round.
The tournament is sponsored by P&G Beauty and presented by John Q. Hammons.