English Ladies European Tour veteran Mel Reid and Japanese teen phenom Nasa Hataoka posted low rounds Thursday to pull away as leaders after two rounds of LPGA Q-School at LPGA International.
Reid shot an 8-under-par 64 on the Jones course to get to 11 under overall. Hataoka shot 65 on the Hills Course to equal her total.
They’re three shots ahead of American Jaye Marie Green, who put up a 68 on the Hills Course.
Reid is a five-time LET winner and a Solheim Cup veteran. Hataoka, 17, won the Japan Women’s Open last month, becoming the first amateur and youngest winner of a Japan LPGA major. She turned pro a week after the victory.
Amateur Katelyn Dambaugh, a senior at the University of South Carolina, shot 71 on the Hills Course and is tied for fourth, five shots behind along with Latvia’s Krista Puisite, who shot 69 on the Hills Course. Puisite finished 45th on the Symetra Tour money list this year.
India’s Aditi Ashok shot 70 on the Hills Course to move into a tie for 27th, 10 shots off the lead.
Amateur Bronte Law, a UCLA All-American who won the Annika Award as the top collegian woman last season, shot 68 on the Jones course and also moved into a tie for 27th.
The low 20 players after 90 holes will earn full LPGA status for next year, with players who finish 21st through 45th and ties earning partial status. The 156-player field will be cut to the low 70 and ties going into the final round. Everyone who makes the cut will receive at least Symetra Tour status.