Mika Miyazato takes solo Safeway lead

Mika Miyazato

Mika Miyazato

NORTH PLAINS, Ore. — Japan’s Mika Miyazato shot a 4-under 68 on Saturday to take a two-stroke lead after the second round of the LPGA Tour’s Safeway Classic.

Miyazato, tied for the first-round lead with Sydnee Michaels after a 65, had an 11-under 133 total on Pumpkin Ridge’s Ghost Creek Course.

South Korea’s So Yeon Ryu, the Toledo Classic winner last week, was second after a 68. Ryu and Miyazato, winless in her four seasons on the LPGA Tour, will be paired together again Sunday after playing in the same group the first two days.

Cristie Kerr and Inbee Park shot 70 to reach 8 under, and Michaels had a 72 to join top-ranked Yani Tseng and Paula Creamer at 7 under. Tseng had a 67, and Creamer shot a 69.

Michelle Wie was tied for 11th at 5 under after a 70.

Defending champion Suzann Pettersen was 2-under after a 71. Last year, the Norwegian star Pettersen overcame a nine-stroke deficit in the final round and won in a playoff.

It was nearly 30 degrees cooler Saturday following Friday’s scorching 100-degree day. Players said lower temperatures made the 6,611-yard course play longer.

Miyazato birdied two of her final four holes in her bogey-free round to take the lead. Her previous best LPGA Tour finishes came this year with second-place ties in the NW Arkansas Championship and LPGA Championship.

Ryu, the LPGA rookie points leader, briefly took the lead after shooting a 5-under 30 on the back nine — her first nine.

Kerr had birdies at the three-hole stretch of par 5s from No. 8-10 to edge into contention. She won the event in 2008 at Columbia-Edgewater, and finished second at Pumpkin Ridge in 2010.

Michaels, an LPGA Tour rookie from UCLA, made an eagle at the par-5 ninth to pull within one stroke of the lead. She struggled down the stretch, hitting her tee shots into the water at 17 and 18.

Tseng, who has missed the cuts in three of her previous four tournaments, made five birdies. She leads the tour with three victories this year

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