Park two clear of field at US Women’s Open

Inbee Park of South Korea. Picture: Reuters
Inbee Park of South Korea. Picture: Reuters
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INBEE Park’s quest for a third straight major championship in 2013 remains right on track after she shot a four under-par 68 in the second round to lead the US Women’s Open by two strokes.

After the horn sounded to suspend play for the day in foggy conditions, Park played out the 18th hole and sank a birdie putt from 12 feet for a two-round total of 135, with fellow South Korean I.K. Kim her closest challenger.

England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff’s 69 put her four shots off the lead at the halfway stage.

Ha-Neul Kim, the first-round leader, had a 77 which saw the South Korean slip back to one-under par.

Catriona Matthew, who followed up a fine first-round 70 with a 75 to leave her one-over par and tied for 15th, was the only Scot to make the cut, which came at 150.

The other three – Carly Booth, Janice Moodie and Sally Watson – finished well off the cut mark.

Park was happy to have hit the halfway mark two clear of the field, although her putting was not quite as impeccable as usual.

Nevertheless, she made one of her toughest birdies of the day on the 13th, a 20-footer from the fringe. “Everything that was closer was not going in, then everything that was further away from the hole was going in today,” she said. “It was weird.”

Kim, however, will be confident she can continue to mount a challenge over the final two rounds. She is a player who seems to thrive under the demands of this tournament, finishing in third or fourth place for three straight years from 2008.

The closest she came to a major title, though, came last year at the Kraft Nabisco. Needing just a short putt to clinch the championship, Kim watched the ball lip out on the 18th hole. She went on to lose in a play-off.