KILDEER, ILLINOIS – Nasa Hataoka carded an even-par 72 on Friday to remain three shots off the pace at the Women’s PGA Championship, in the third of five major tournaments on the LPGA Tour.
The 19-year-old Hataoka had four birdies and four bogeys to land in a four-way tie for eighth.
Hataoka, who is competing in her first tournament since winning her maiden LPGA title at the NW Arkansas Championship on June 24, said she had a difficult time hitting consistent tee shots because of the wind.
“I was able to finish the round without going over par in this wind,” she said. “I think I cleared the minimum requirement I set for myself today.”
Hataoka missed the cut at last year’s Women’s PGA Championship, when she was competing in her first major tournament.
“I’m a bit nervous because this is a major tournament, and it is a difficult course so I want to play without making judgment errors in my final two rounds,” she said.
First-round leader Park Sung-hyun (72), 2016 winner Brooke Henderson (71) and Ryu So-yeon (69) were tied for the lead at 6-under 138.
Lydia Ko shot a 6-under 66 to move two strokes off the lead.
The 21-year-old New Zealander shook off an opening 74 at Kemper Lakes to reach 4 under and give herself a shot to win her third major.
“Straight out of the gate, I was able to make a birdie on the first, and that gave me the confidence to say, ‘Hey, you can make a birdie around this golf course,’ ” Ko said. “I played solid. I know I missed a few fairways, but I tried to put myself in good positions.”
Carlota Ciganda (69) was one stroke back, with Ko, Moriya Jutanugarn (72) and Annie Park (69) at 4 under.
Michelle Wie (74) was 1 over. Top-ranked Inbee Park (76) missed the cut at 5-over 149.
Ayako Uehara and Sakura Yokomine made the cut after recording 2-over 74 in the second round.
In other golf news, Tiger Woods chipped in from 80 feet for birdie after his only bad miss off the tee, made four of his six birdie putts from 18 feet or longer and matched his lowest score of the year with a 5-under 65 on a steamy Friday morning at the TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm.
He was tied for 11th, four shots behind Beau Hossler, Ryan Armour and Brian Gay.
“I’m not that far back,” Woods said. “The scores aren’t going to be that low and it’s going to be a tough weekend. It will be over 100 degrees (38 C) and it will be a long weekend mentally and physically. I’m in a good position now.”
Not since the Valspar Championship during the Florida swing has Woods been this close to the 36-hole leader. He was tied for second that week in March, two shots behind, and he wound up one shot behind the winner. The biggest difference was putting, and it all started with a mistake.
Woods hit two long irons on the 574-yard 10th hole just short of the green, leaving him 20 feet of fairway grass and then just over 80 feet to the pin. He had a putter in his hand during his long walk to the green and never put it back. Instead of a 56-degree wedge to hit a pitch-and-run, he tried using his putter.
“I shouldn’t have,” he said. “I was caught in between. Should I hit my little 56 and run it over the top? I figure the greens were a little bit faster early in the morning, but the fairways are a little bit dewier. In hindsight, no, I should have hit my 56.”
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5