Friday's golf: Chun takes halfway lead at Women's British Open

Associated Press

Muirfield, Scotland — 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 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.

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 mindset 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 U.S. Women's Open.

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 Tour

Greensboro, N.C. — 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 on Friday that gave him a share of the early lead with Brandon Wu and Ryan Moore in the final PGA Tour event of the regular season.

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.

Kim finished seventh last week at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit. Before that, he placed third in the Scottish Open, made the cut in the British Open and 3M Open.

That gave him enough points to be assured of a card next year. 

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).

As for the top 125 who qualify for the postseason?

Rickie Fowler looks to be getting time off he doesn't want. He had three straight bogeys early in his second round and rallied for a 69. That left him at even par for the tournament and unlikely to make the cut. Fowler is the equivalent of No. 123 and most likely would fall out of the top 125, missing the postseason for the second straight year.

Other notes: Jason Day withdrew because of an illness. He had opened with a 67....Former Masters champion Danny Willett was headed for a missed cut and will finish out of the top 125.... Players who have joined Saudi-backed LIV Golf and were suspended will not count toward the final 125 in the FedEx Cup.

PGA Champions Tour

Calgary, Alberta — Padraig Harrington made a long eagle putt on the final hole Friday for a 6-under 64 that gave him a one-shot lead over Kirk Triplett in the Shaw Charity Classic.

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.

Harrington already has won once this year at the U.S. Senior Open. He has not been outside the top seven on the leaderboard over his last eight rounds.

Triplett stated on the back nine at Canyon Meadows and was 3 under under through two holes after his birdie-eagle start.

He was a runner-up at the Shaw Charity Classic four years ago.

Paul Goydos and Robert Karlsson each shot a 66, while Matt Gogel and John Huston were another shot behind at 67.