Round 2 concludes with Lexi Thompson's 'clutch' par save on 18

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Round 2 concludes with Lexi Thompson's 'clutch' par save on 18

USGA

Round 2 concludes with Lexi Thompson's 'clutch' par save on 18

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CHARLESTON, S.C. – Lexi Thompson was among the 45 players who had to come out early Saturday morning to wrap up Round 2 of the U.S. Women’s Open. The top-ranked American called her par save on the 18th “clutch” as she heads into the afternoon round. Thompson, who switched to the claw putting grip this week, trails leader Mamiko Higa by three shots at the Country Club of Charleston.

“I’ve been looking for something that just flows a little better,” said Thompson. “My brother Curtis came out this week, and he uses the claw. He’s like, you should try it. It’s really good.”

Higa tops the field at 6-under 136. The two Korda sisters, Jessica and Nelly, are in the top 10 and looking for their first major title. Jessica’s second-round 68 puts her in a share of second at 5 under with former Duke standout Celine Boutier of France.

SCORES: U.S. Women’s Open

Duke amateur Gina Kim sits alone in fourth at 4 under. Kim wasn’t even born when former Blue Devil Jenny Chuasiriporn, who was also playing as an amateur, took on Se Ri Pak in a playoff at the 1998 U.S. Women’s Open. Last week Kim helped Duke win its seventh NCAA Championship.

While this is all new to Kim, there are a number of players lurking in the top 10 who have won multiple majors, including a U.S. Women’s Open – So Yeon Ryu (-3), Inbee Park (-2) and Sung Hyun Park (-2).

Andrea Lee, a rising senior at Stanford and the top-ranked amateur in the field, is one of 22 players who broke par in the first two rounds. Lee’s second-round 72 puts her in a share of 18th at 1 under.

Augusta National Women’s Amateur stars Jennifer Kupcho (1 over) and Maria Fassi (3 over) made the cut in their professional debuts.

Five amateurs made were among the 70 players who will play the weekend: Gina Kim, Andrea Lee, Jennifer Chang, Rose Zhang and Jiwon Jeon.

The now famous oak tree between the 11th and 18th holes that was struck by lightning during Friday afternoon’s weather delay was removed last night for safety reasons.

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