Haru Nomura shot a 6-under 65 on Friday for a two-round total of 133 and a one-shot lead in the North Texas LPGA Shootout.
Ariya Jutanugarn is second following a 67 with Suzann Pettersen another shot behind. Moriya Jutanugarn, Ariya’s older sister, is fourth at 136 along with two-time tournament winner Inbee Park and Marina Alex.
Lexi Thompson, playing in her first tournament since a rules violation cost her a likely victory in the season’s first major three weeks ago, shot a 72 after birdieing three of the first five holes. She’s nine shots behind at 142.
First-round leader M.J. Hur also shot a 72 and trails by four strokes. Hur, who lives in McKinney, about 40 miles from the Las Colinas Country Club course, led after 18 holes last year and tied for second place.
Nomura’s best finish of the season is a tie for third at the opening Women’s Australian Open. She has two career wins in seven seasons on the tour.
Ariya Jutanugarn has yet to win this season after claiming five titles in 2016 and being named player of the year. Moriya Jutanugarn, who is 16 months older than Ariya, aced the 135-yard 13th. Her best career result is a fourth-place finish at the 2013 Women’s Australian Open.
Dori Carter’s 8-under 63 broke the tournament record by one shot. Carter, winless in seven seasons on tour, eagled the par-5 3rd hole with a sand wedge from about 70 yards. That highlighted a run of six straight sub-par holes.
Defending champion Jenny Shin followed Thursday’s 71 with a 72, trailing by 10.
With rain forecast for Saturday in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the third round will be played in threesomes beginning earlier than scheduled and off split tees.—AP