CAMBRIDGE, Ont. — Suzann Pettersen and Mariajo Uribe share the lead at 13-under par after the second round of the Manulife LPGA Classic on Thursday at Whistle Bear Golf Club.
Both players were the measure of consistency over 36-holes, with Pettersen bettering her first day round of 6-under par 66 by one shot, shooting 7-under to finish with a score of 131. Uribe started the tournament at 7-under 65, and almost matched that with a 6-under 66 in round 2.
“If you hit all the fairways you’re going to give yourself a lot of chances with your irons,” said Pettersen, who has won eight times on the LPGA Tour when leading or co-leading after 36 holes.
“The par 5s are very scoreable. You just have to try and take care of business on those and if you can squeeze in a birdie or two, or three on the rest of the holes, you’re in a good position. I felt like I did that today.”
Pettersen said she is feeling better on the course, recovering from an injured shoulder earlier in the season.
“I’m pretty good. Right now I’ve been almost pain free for two weeks, no painkillers, nothing, and doing all my rehab. I’m good now and looking forward to a strong summer.”
Uribe, who will play with Pettersen in the last group in the third round, won’t change much in her approach Saturday.
“Just keep doing what I’m doing,” Uribe said about her mindset for the weekend. “I had a lot of fun the first two days. Usually I don’t like courses that you have to go a lot really low, so I’m just having fun and stay patient and liking it.”
Cristie Kerr, who tied a course record at 9-under par 63 in the first round, had trouble making birdies and shot 3-under par on the day to finish alone in second place at 12-under par.
Kerr started the second round in a three-way tie for first with Cheyenne Woods and P.K. Kongkraphan, but saw her counterparts fall off the pace. Kongkraphan swung the other way, shooting 3-over par 75 to drop to 6-under par, while Woods was 1-over par on the day and now sits tied for 18th at 8-under par.
Lydia Ko, though far off the pace at 5-under par after two rounds, extended her streak of making cuts to 53, having never missed playing on the weekend on the LPGA Tour.
Hamilton’s Alena Sharp was the top Canadian at 7-under par, shooting 2-under 69 on the day. Sharp had to grind out a sub-par round, not hitting the ball well on too many holes.
“I left myself in some really interesting spots to putt from. Yesterday, they don’t break much but I had a lot of break on my putts today and I two-putted every one of them,” Sharp said.
“I had it going on the front for three or four holes in row, but on the back nine I just was in between numbers all day.”
Sara-Maude Juneau of Fossambault-Sur-Le-Lac, Que., finished with a total of 5-under par. Toronto’s Sue Kim and amateur Natalie Gleadall of Stratford, Ont., were at 4 under.
Gleadall was one of two players to make it through Monday’s qualifier and is set to play on the weekend. Coming down the stretch, she knew that she had to make at least par on the final four holes to stay on the cut line, as well as battle the wind, which picked up as her day went on.
“I just tried to picture good golf shots and just take it one shot at a time. Other than that, there was not much else I could do,” Gleadall said.
Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ont., made a late charge to finish one shot under the cut line at 3-under par. Henderson had to eagle her final hole, a 472-yard par 5, but settled for a birdie.
“I really grinded deep and really found a lot of inner strength because I could have easily just given up, but instead I got myself a lot of birdies coming in and it was nice,” Henderson said after missing her first cut this season on the LPGA Tour and at the Manulife Classic. She also received a sponsor’s exemption for next week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in Harrison, N.Y.
“It was really important for me to finish like that. Like I said, I could have easily given up coming down because it didn’t look like it was likely, but anything’s possible.”
Other Canadians missing the cut were Jennifer Kirby (2 under), Brittany Henderson (2 under), Rebecca Lee-Bentham (1 under), Lorie Kane (1 under) and Augusta Jones (5 over).
Bill Doucet, The Canadian Press