PRATTVILLE, Ala. – Japan’s Mika Miyazato shot a 9-under 63 on Friday for a share of the second-round lead in the Navistar LPGA Classic with Na Yeon Choi and Cristie Kerr.
Winless in 40 career LPGA starts, the 20-year-old Miyazato had five straight birdies on the front nine and four in a row on the back nine in her bogey-free round that matched the course record on the links-style Senator layout at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail’s Capitol Hill complex.
“Everything was going inside my zone,” Miyazato said through a translator. “Everything was going the way that I wanted it to.”
Choi shot a 64, and Kerr had a 67 to match Miyazato at 12 under.
“I think I played better (on Thursday), but I did some other things better today,” said Kerr, the first-round leader after a 65. “It was kind of weird. I drove the ball better today, but I hit my irons better yesterday.”
Choi birdied the final four holes to finish the back nine in 6-under 30.
“I think (Thursday) I had a lot of birdie chances, too, but I just tried to trust my putter stroke,” Choi said. “I missed a couple of putts yesterday and I bogeyed a couple of holes yesterday. After putting practice, I just tried to trust myself and see my target.”
Brittany Lincicome (66) was a stroke back, Amy Yang (66) was 10 under, and Vicky Hurst (68), Katherine Hull (67), Eun-Hee Ji (67) and Giulia Sergas (68) were 9 under.
Miyazato won the Japan Women’s Open last week and is coming off her best LPGA performance, a third-place finish in the NW Arkansas Championship on Sept. 12.
“Especially since the P&G Arkansas tournament my shots have been very solid and my putting has been very solid as well,” Miyazato said. “I’ve been able to be more relaxed and play the game that is mine.”
In 2004, she won the Japan Amateur Women’s Champoinship at the age of 14 to become the youngest winner in the history of the event. She turned professional in 2009, bypassing the Japan LPGA for the LPGA.
Top-ranked Ai Miyazato was 5 under after 69.