Ewing, Kim lead by two at LPGA Meijer Classic

golf14 June 2024 23:20| © AFP
article image
Ally Ewing © Gallo Images

Ally Ewing fired a brilliant bogey-free nine-under-par 63 to grab a share of the lead with Australia's Grace Kim at the halfway stage of the LPGA Meijer Classic on Friday.

Ewing surged up the leaderboard at Blythefield Country Club in suburban Grand Rapids, Michigan after a flawless performance that included seven birdies and an eagle.

That left the 31-year-old two strokes clear of the field on 11 under after 36 holes alongside Kim, who conjured an eagle three on the 18th for a seven-under-par 65 to join Ewing at the top of the leaderboard.

Ewing, who is chasing her third LPGA Tour victory this weekend, arrived in Michigan in good form after finishing tied for third at the US Women's Open earlier this month – her best ever finish in a major.

Ewing believes she is still riding the confidence generated by that finish.

"Any time you get a good finish in any tournament, much less a major ... definitely helps your confidence when you carry it over," Ewing said.

"The golf ball doesn't know what I did last week, but it's still important to attack it but also have confidence with it."

Ewing hopes that momentum will carry into the weekend, where benign conditions at Blythefield have made for low scoring.

"I think you can make a lot of birdies out here," she said. "At the same time, I approach a golf course with what it gives me, so I try to play smart but aggressive golf."


Kim, 23, meanwhile said she is working on keeping a lid on her nerves over the weekend as she looks to bag only her second LPGA Tour victory after winning last year's Lotte Championship in Hawaii.

"You know you're in a good position when you're in contention and playing in the last few groups on the weekend," she said.

"I know the nerves will be there, but I guess that's normal...everyone will be nervous, and I think the leaderboard is quite stacked, so just got to play your own game."

Denmark's Nanna Koerstz Madsen thrust herself into the reckoning with a bogey-free eight-under-par 64, finishing the day on nine under, two off the lead, with South Korea's An Na-rin.

Five players are three shots off the lead on eight under, including Canada's Brooke M. Henderson and China's Yan Jing.

Six players are on seven under, including first round leader Alison Lee, who followed up her seven-under-par opening round with a grinding even-par 72.

Lee bagged five more birdies in her second round but saw those gains offset by five bogeys as she struggled to reproduce the consistency of her opening round.

But while Ewing, Kim, Lee and others were looking ahead to the third round, world No 1 Nelly Korda faces another weekend on the sidelines after missing the cut for a second straight tournament.

Korda, who missed the cut in her last outing at the US Women's Open, finished the day at one under for the tournament – one shot outside the cut line – after a five-under-par 67.

"Didn't play too bad. Just a tough week," Korda lamented afterwards.