LOS ANGELES — Jin Younger Ko had 5 back-nine birdies in a 7-under 64 at demanding Wilshire Nation Membership for a share of the second-round lead Friday with Nasa Hataoka within the DIO Implant LA Open.
5 strokes behind first-round chief Alison Lee after a 71, the top-ranked Ko moved into place for her second victory of the season within the first of two straight LPGA Tour occasions within the Los Angeles space.
“My placing was so good at the moment,” Ko mentioned. “I wasn’t anticipating to play rather well at the moment as a result of within the afternoon it is all the time exhausting to play this course. However my placing was good, so I am pleased with it.”
Hataoka birdied her closing three holes for a 68 to match Ko at 7 below.
The beginning of play was delayed for an hour and quarter-hour due to harm to bridges and bunkers from in a single day rain. Eighteen gamers had been unable to complete due to darkness.
After dropping a stroke on the par-4 ninth, Ko birdied Nos. 11-14 and added her eighth birdie of the day on the par-4 seventeenth.
“I did not suppose I performed 5 below on the again 9,” Ko mentioned. “I did not know that. I used to be within the zone.”
Ko, 26, received in Singapore early final month for her thirteenth LPGA Tour title. She received 5 occasions final 12 months.
Hataoka had seven birdies and 4 bogeys. The 23-year-old from Japan has 5 LPGA Tour victories, successful twice final season.
“The wind was fairly sturdy,” Hayaoka mentioned. “The greens are fairly tight, slender. So my plan was to hit the inexperienced, not attempt to be too aggressive. On the again 9, the wind sort of received weaker, so I used to be capable of hit on the pin.”
Hannah Inexperienced was third at 5 below after a bogey-free 67. The Australian received her two LPGA Tour titles in 2019.
“I am very happy,” Inexperienced mentioned. “I suppose at the moment’s spherical sort of felt like much more below par than what it was. I used to be fairly strong with my placing all day at the moment which was good as a result of yesterday I had a pair three-putts.”
Fellow Australian Minjee Lee, the 2019 winner, had a 68 to match Haeji Kang (69) at 4 below. Inbee Park (67) topped the group at 3 below.
“You have to actually watch out the way you play the holes — and you’ll’t get too grasping,” Park mentioned. “Though the course is brief, it is simply actually robust.”
Lee was 2 below, following her opening 66 with a 74.
Defending champion Brooke Henderson, enjoying alongside Ko, shot 76-72 to overlook the reduce.
The Related Press contributed to this report.