OLYMPIA FIELDS, Ill. – Expect fireworks over the weekend at Olympia Fields, as a number of LPGA stars are lurking at the year’s second major. Only one player in the top seven – Brittany Lincicome – is a major winner. But eight major winners are within five shots of leaders Danielle Kang and Sei Young Kim.
World No. 1 So Yeon Ryu surged to within two shots after posting a 3-under 68. She’s at 5 under with defending champion Brooke Henderson (69).
Two-time major winner Lydia Ko’s 68 pulled her within three shots of the lead along with Michelle Wie (70) at 4 under.
Three weeks ago, Ko started working with putting coach Gareth Raflewski, who also coaches the Jutanugarn sisters and Jane Park, who happens to be married to Ko’s caddie.
Ko said they mostly worked on drills that would help her with speed on the greens.
“No matter how many putts I hole or not,” she said, “it’s just about me being confident and being able to put good strokes on it.”
Seven-time major champion Inbee Park switched putters after the first round, going back to her old Odyssey. Park opened with a 73, saying everything was a bit off. She followed it up with a 67 to sit five strokes back.
“You just don’t know what’s going to happen at a major championship,” said Park, who is within striking distance.
Lexi Thompson eagled the 18th hole, hitting a three-quarter 6-iron from 180 yards. The ball landed only a few inches behind the hole. She knocked in a downhill left-to-right putt from 25 feet to end the day with a smile.
“I just felt a little bit out of it yesterday,” said Thompson. “My tempo was off and I was just kind of steering it around the golf course. Today I picked very small targets and just free-swing it, and it ended up working out.”
Thompson sits at 3 under with two-time major winner In Gee Chun (66).