Kim on Fire at State Farm


04 State Farm Classic SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Christina Kim posted a 6-under 66 on Friday to cruise to a four-shot lead midway through the State Farm Classic at The Rail Golf Course.
Kim opened the tournament with a course-record-tying, 10-under 62 on Thursday and now put her name further into the tournament's record book. Her 36-hole total of 16-under-par 128 smashed the former record by three strokes. Laura Davies established the old mark in 1994 and was later equaled by Annika Sorenstam in 2001, Patricia Meunier-Lebouc in 2002 and by Candie Kung last year.
'I just know it could have been better,' said Kim. 'I was not really feeling anything today. I just hit ball after ball. I was noticing how many under I was and who was on the leaderboard. That's definitely why I didn't shoot another 62 today.'
Cristie Kerr missed matching the course record by a single shot on Friday. She fired a 9-under 63 and is alone in second place at 12-under-par 132.
Jennifer Rosales shot a 7-under 65 in the second round and is in third at minus-11, followed by Suzann Pettersen, who shot her second 67 in as many days. Petterssen is alone in fourth place at 10-under-par 134.
Kim parred her first two holes then hit a 9-iron to 12 feet to set up birdie at the third. She collected her second birdie in a row at four, but it should have been eagle as she two-putted from 2 feet.
Kim ran home a pair of 15-foot birdie putts at seven and eight to extend her lead. At the 10th, Kim hit a sandwedge to 8 feet and drained the birdie putt. She hit a 5-iron to 10 feet at the par-3 11th and made that birdie to pull well ahead of the field.
She kept rolling with birdies at 14 when her eight-iron approach stopped 16 feet from the hole. Kim converted that birdie putt and LPGA Tour scoring records looked to be in jeopardy.
But, at the par-5 15th, Kim hit her drive left. It took two punch shots to get her back into play and she wedged her fourth to 23 feet. Kim took two putts for a bogey, then parred out to still have a commanding lead in pursuit of her first win on the LPGA Tour.
'I'm just here focusing on the moment,' said Kim. 'I'm not the kind of person that sits and mulls things over. There are so many things that can happen in a round that a fraction of a second can change winning to losing.'
Kerr wasted little time in breaking into red figures. She sank a 9-foot birdie putt at the first, then collected a pair of 5-foot birdie putts at four and seven to make the turn at 3 under.
Kerr, a two-time winner this season, caught fire on the back nine. She holed a 4-foot birdie putt at the 10th, and made it back-to-back birdies with a 9-footer at No. 11.
She reached the green with a 7-iron at the par-5 15th and made the eagle putt. Kerr knocked her 6-iron tee shot to three inches at the par-3 16th and kicked in the birdie putt. She then hit a 9-iron to four feet to set up birdie at the last and match her career low round on the LPGA Tour.
'It was a really good back nine for me,' said Kerr, who shot 63 four times before Friday, including the third round of this year's Women's British Open. 'I had some good holes. I have to play my own game, and approach the next two days like I approached the last two days.'
Rosales, who held the 54-hole lead at the U.S. Women's Open, started on the back nine Friday and tallied three birdies in her first four holes. She missed the green with her second shot at the par-5 15th, but chipped to 8 feet and holed the putt for birdie. Rosales made it two in a row with a 12-foot birdie putt at the 16th.
Rosales hit a spectacular approach to the first that stopped a foot from the hole. She two-putted for birdie from 18 feet at the fourth, but found trouble later in her round.
At the par-3 seventh, Rosales hit a 5-iron into a greenside bunker. She blasted out to 10 feet, but missed the par save. Rosales reclaimed the lost stroke one hole later with a 12-foot birdie putt.
'I didn't have any fives on the scorecard today, so I'm happy about that,' said Rosales. 'I've put myself in a good position, so I'm pretty happy about that.'
Lorena Ochoa, who won last week's Wachovia LPGA Classic, shot a 5-under 67 and is tied for fifth place with Mikaela Parmlid (71), Chris Johnson (65) and Hee-Won Han (66). That group came in at 9-under-par 135.
Kung, who went on to victory in last year's event, carded a 3-under 69 and shares ninth place at minus-8 with Young-A Yang (67), Marcy Hart (68), Laura Diaz (71) and Candy Hannemann (68).
The 36-hole cut fell at 1-under-par 143 and among the notable players who made the cut on the number are: Davies, Se Ri Pak, Carin Koch, Aree Song and Natalie Gulbis.
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