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Mehra on Top at Frye Classic

Futures TourWICHITA, Kan. -- It was 5:30 this morning, and Smriti Mehra was poking around Willowbend Golf Club, looking for other Futures Golf Tour sleepwalkers. She was only two swings into her first round after Fridays rain delays and she knew there were 35 holes to play in the day ahead. But while other players hoping to hang onto a share of the lead were just starting their second round today after 7 p.m., the tired native of Calcutta, India, was happy her early-morning rounds had made at least one dream come true.
I dont know how I was playing because I was so tired I couldnt think straight, said Mehra, who completed a first round of 69, then added a 6-under-par 66 to take the clubhouse lead of the $70,000 Frye Classic at 135 (-9). Im a good tough-conditions player. And Im definitely motivated.
Motivated to win. And motivated to regain her full exempt LPGA Tour status. That combination of mettle and Mehras raw strength gave the seven-year LPGA veteran the goods to take the 36-hole lead. That lead was as solid as the knot in her gut on a day when 30-plus holes was typical and lunch consisted of pizza gobbled down between the last hole of the first round and the first hole of the second round. More than one wind-blown player teed it up hoping only to beat the sunset.
By days end, 71 players completed the second round with 68 returning at 7:30 a.m. Sunday to finish 36 holes. A tournament cut will be made after completion of two rounds and players will be re-paired, going off the first and 10th tees.
Known as a long hitter on the LPGA Tour, Mehra capitalized on the calmer winds in the morning and even drove the 287-yard, par-4 18th green, lipping out her eagle putt. She carded eight birdies and two bogeys for her 66 on the par-72, 6,405-yard course.
And while Mehra charged ahead after 36 holes, one co-leader from the first round began to back up as the day wore on. Caryn Wilson of Rancho Mirage, Calif., fired an opening-round 66 for a share of the lead by midday today, but a second-round 77 bumped her into a tie for third with Seul Ki Kim of Incheon, Korea at 143. Young Jo of Suwon, Korea moved into second place at 141.
My mistakes werent necessarily wind-related, said Wilson, who had one birdie, two bogeys and two double-bogeys in her second round. Im just lucky to be finished.
Friday's pacesetter Kim Adams of Tide Head, New Brunswick struggled with club selections today and after nine holes, recorded three bogeys and one birdie. Two poor club choices cost her two shots.
Mental toughness is going to win, said Adams, who carded a 69 Friday as one of only nine players who completed her first round. I have 27 holes left and anything can happen.
Jimin Kang of Seoul, Korea, who completed her first round mid-morning with a 66, shared the lead with Wilson by midday. She will return Sunday morning to finish 16 holes.
And as the endurance test of the fourth annual Frye Classic moves into another early start on Sunday, its certain that a few weary players will wake up and make a final charge for the title.
Notes: Erin Kerr of Phoenix holed out for an eagle-2 on the par-4, 287-yard 18th hole when she hit a lob wedge from a greenside bunker. The 15-yard bunker blast rolled into the cup for eagle Earlier in the day, Yvonne Cox of Charleston, W.Va., scored the Tours first hole-in-one of the season with a 9-iron from 139 yards on the eighth hole.
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