First-round Open leader Kim slips up

December 02, 2022 02:51 PM AEDT | By AAPNEWS
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Sydney sensation Grace Kim has relinquished her Australian Open lead with a double bogey midway through the second round in Melbourne.

After opening the tournament with a sizzling seven-under-par 66 at Kingston Heath, Kim continued on her merry way with a birdie on her first hole at Victoria GC on Friday.

But 21-year-old Kim slipped back to the pack with a dreaded seven on the par-5 eighth before reaching the turn at six under for the championship.

Bidding to win her maiden Open as a professional, the former Australian amateur champion was one shot behind the clubhouse leaders, former world No.1 So Yeon Ryu and reigning British Open champion Ashleigh Buhai.

Ryu and Buhai both carded second-round four-under 68s on Friday morning.

Buhai, who tamed the famous Scottish links of Muirfield to land her maiden major in July, said she felt right at home following her blemish-free display.

"It's always a good day when you can go on any of these courses bogey-free," the South African said.

"Front nine, which was the back nine for me, was a little slow this morning but I got into the rhythm nicely on the back nine.

"I love sandbelt courses because I like to flight the ball so you know you can kind of hit a mid flight and let it feed out.

"Obviously it plays a bit like a links and I kind of like links golf."

Like Kim, Hannah Green was six under through nine holes of her second round and sharing third spot with another South Korean ex-world No.1, Jiyai Shin.  

True to her word, world No.4 and pre-tournament favourite Minjee Lee made a big move with a second-round three-under 70 at Kingston Heath to be sitting just two shots off the pace.

"I hit it good all day, I was just was a bit shaky with the putter on the second nine," Lee said.

"I had a pretty fast start, played pretty solid so hopefully I can play better at Vic on the weekend."

Playing with Lee, LPGA Tour rival and compatriot Steph Kyriacou also carded a 70 to climb to four under to be three strokes off the lead.


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