Park 5 shots off lead after 36 holes

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Inbee Park turned around a sluggish second nine with a pair of closing birdies in the second round to keep this weekend interesting in her pursuit of a fourth consecutive LPGA title. 

Park, who celebrated her 25th birthday Friday, shot a 4-under-par 67 at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic to keep red-hot Catriona Matthew from getting too far ahead of her. Matthew (64) is at 15-under 127, five shots ahead of Park, who is tied for eighth at Grey Silo Golf Course in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. 

“I played OK, but nothing was that sharp,” Park said. “A couple shots, here and there, I left out, but there are two more days, still a lot of golf. This golf course is very score-able, and a lot of people are going on birdie streaks. You just can’t stop on this golf course.” 

Matthew made five birdies and an eagle in her 64 on Friday. She shot 63 on Thursday. She’s three ahead of American Angela Stanford (67).

Park has work to do to join Mickey Wright, Kathy Whitworth, Annika Sorenstam and Lorena Ochoa as the only players to win four consecutive LPGA events. Wright did it twice, in 1962 and ’63. Nancy Lopez and Sorenstam share the record for winning the most consecutive LPGA starts with five. The difference in the records is not all five of their starts came in consecutive events on the tour schedule.