South Korea’s Ha Na Jang shot a 4-under 67 on Friday (Saturday AEST) to increase her lead to two strokes in the suspended second round of the LPGA Tour’s Marathon Classic.
Australian Sarah Kemp shot a second-round 69 to be -6 for the tournament and take a share of third place.
Jang had a 9-under 133 total at Highland Meadows. Winless in 23 career tour events, she capped her bogey-free round with a 12-foot birdie putt on the par-4 ninth.
South Korea’s Q Baek was second after a 67.
The start of the round was delayed 2 1/2 hours because of rain and lightning, and play was suspended for the day at 8pm because of more lightning. Fifty-four players were unable to complete the round.
Kemp, Shanshan Feng and Dewi Claire Schreefel were tied for third at 6 under.
“It’s nice to put another round in the 60s,” Kemp said. “I’ll take 69 around here any day. With the conditions this morning, it played a lot longer.”
Being able to advance to weekend play is exciting for Kemp, who has missed the cuts in seven of 12 starts this season.
“This is great. I’m going to enjoy it because it hasn’t happened very much so it must mean I’m doing something good,” Kemp said.
“I haven’t been in this position very much so everything that happens from now on is a total learning experience.”
Sarah Jane-Smith is the next-best placed Australian with a tie for 37th following her second-round 71.
Teenager Minjee Lee also had a share of 37th, but had two holes still to play in her second round.
Leader Jang has fought through back problems that had her thinking about withdrawing before the first round.
“I think not much practice makes it easier to playing golf,” Jang said. “Not tired. Just feels really, really good. Body is a little tight, but my swing is very good.”