In Gee Chun is making another strong run at a major.
The South Korean golfer took the halfway lead at the Women’s British Open after a 5-under-par 66 in the second round on Friday, putting her in position to challenge for a second major title of the year, and fourth overall.
Chun had an 8-under total of 134, putting her one shot ahead of South Africa’s Ashleigh Buhai and Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom, who both shot 65.
Seven-time major winner Inbee Park, also of South Korea, was a shot further back after a 67.
Chun, who won the Women’s PGA Championship at Congressional in June despite consecutive weekend rounds of 75, carded six birdies and a solitary bogey in her round at Muirfield in Scotland.
Sunday’s winner will earn more than $1 million but Chun said she was also motivated by a slightly smaller cash prize on offer.
“Before the start of the tournament my caddie Dean and I talked about the course and after that we had a little bit of betting,” Chun said. “If I make a bogey-free round he’s said he’s going to buy me dinner and pay me 100 dollars each day. So before each round it’s like setting another goal. That mind-set helped a lot on the course. I had two bogeys over the last two days but I want to keep trying to make a bogey-free round.”
Of Chun’s four LPGA Tour victories, three have come at majors, including the 2016 Evian Championship and 2015 US Women’s Open.
On Friday, she even got some help from one of the gusts of wind that make Scottish links golf so tricky.
“I have a great reason to love the Scottish wind now,” Chun said. “My ball was around the edge of the hole today, and after like three seconds it dropped. So now I can enjoy more the Scottish wind.”
Buhai looked on course to claim the halfway lead when she made an eagle and four birdies to race to the turn in 30, but after picking up another shot on the 11th she could not make any further gains and dropped her only shot of the day on the last.
Overnight leader Hinako Shibuno followed her opening 65 with a 73 to fall four shots off the pace.
Jessica Korda, who was second after the first round, settled for a 74 and was in a tie for 17th.
Four-time major winner Laura Davies, making her 42nd appearance at the event at the age of 58, missed the cut after an 81 which included a 10 on the 18th.
PGA — Joohyung “Tom” Kim began the Wyndham Championship with a quadruple bogey on his first hole and wasn’t the least bit bothered. The kid seems to be going places in a hurry.
Already assured a PGA Tour card for next season, Kim overcame his rough start with a 6-under 64 that gave him a share of the lead with Brandon Wu and Ryan Moore in the final PGA Tour event of the regular season in Greensboro, N.C.
Kim, a 20-year-old South Korean, has to win at Sedgefield Country Club to qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs because he will not be considered a PGA Tour member until September when the new season starts. Only a victory gives him instant membership.
He doesn’t feel extra pressure to get it done. Considering where he was a month ago, Kim is happy to be where he is.
Kim — he goes by “Tom” because of his fascination as a kid with Thomas the Tank Engine in the TV series “Thomas & Friends” — finished third in the Scottish Open, made the cut in the British Open and 3M Open, and then finished seventh last week in the Rocket Mortgage Classic.
That gave him enough points to be assured of a card next year. And as he has shown in two days, it takes a lot to stop this train.
He took eight shots for his first hole on Thursday. Since then, Kim has made 14 birdies and reached 9-under 131 along with Wu (67) and Moore (67).
Champions — Padraig Harrington made a long eagle putt on the final hole for a 6-under 64 that gave him a one-shot lead over Kirk Triplett in the Shaw Charity Classic in Calgary.
Harrington matched his lowest score of the year on the PGA Tour Champions, and it was is best opening round of the season on the 50-and-older circuit. The 50-year-old Irishman is second in the Charles Schwab Cup standings, though still well behind Steven Alker.