Ruoning Yin, Hyo Joo Kim share lead at midpoint of LA Open

China’s Ruoning Yin tied for the best round of the DIO Implant LA Open on Friday, and she shares the second-round lead with South Korea’s Hyo Joo Kim in Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.

Yin shot a 7-under-par 64, leaving her at 10-under 132, level with Kim, who carded her second consecutive 66.

Defending champion Nasa Hataoka of Japan sits alone in third place at 9 under after a 66. Canada’s Maude-Aimee Leblanc produced her second straight 67, and she holds fourth place at 8 under.

Lilia Vu (second-round 66) and Megan Khang (69) are tied for fifth at 7 under, with Jennifer Kupcho (64) and Thailand’s Patty Tavatanakit (67) tied for seventh at 6 under.

England’s Charley Hull and France’s Perrine Delacour both shot 69, leaving them at 5 under, tied for ninth.

Yin completed a symmetrical round: four birdies on the back nine, then her lone bogey at the par-4 18th hole, then four birdies on the front nine.

The 20-year-old, in her second LPGA year, is trying to top her career-best result of a tie for fourth at the Dana Open last fall.

“Today I played pretty good,” Yin said. “I think I hit 13 fairways and 13 greens and 24 putts, which is amazing for me I think. …

“I felt my game was in a pretty solid spot right now. I can strike the ball well and my approach shots (are) pretty good. Yeah, everything is pretty good.”

Kim’s error-free day included consecutive birdies at Nos. 6 and 7 as she finished on the front nine.

“My short game today was really good and I think that led to a bogey-free round,” Kim said. “There were a couple situations actually where I could have carded a bogey, but in those instances my putter worked well.”

Hataoka also completed the second round without a bogey, capped by a birdie on the par-4 ninth hole.

“The plan for today was simple: Do the same thing I did yesterday, try to focus on my shot, try not to think too much about my shot, and I think that really worked out today,” Hataoka said.

“To be honest I had a couple putts I could’ve made. On the last hole it was a challenging line, but I was able to putt really well, and then that really helped my game today.”

First-round leader Mi Hyang Lee of South Korea stumbled to a 74 on Friday and is tied for 16th at 3 under.

–Field Level Media

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