Danielle Kang takes 1-stroke lead into 3rd round in Busan

US and World Sports

Danielle Kang of the United States watches her shot on the first hole during the first round of the LPGA tournament at LPGA International Busan in Busan, South Korea, Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019. (Han Jong-chan/Yonhap via AP)

BUSAN, South Korea (AP) — Danielle Kang shot a second consecutive 5-under 67 on Friday for a one-stroke lead at the Buick Ladies Championship, putting her in a strong position to win her second tournament in two weeks on the LPGA Tour.

The American player, who won last week in Shanghai, had seven birdies and two bogeys for a 10-under 134 total on the LPGA International Busan course.

Hee Won Na (67) birdied two of her final three holes and was tied for second place with Seung Yeon Lee (68).

Four players were tied for fourth, including No. 1-ranked Jin Young Ko (69) and first-round leader Minjee Lee (70). They were two strokes behind.

“I’m hitting it well. Hitting it straight. Chipping well. Putting well,” said Kang, who grew up in California but spent several years living in Busan as a child because of her father’s job. “So honestly, I’m really not paying attention to other people. I think that’s one of the things that I’ve gotten better at. I have not looked at the leaderboard once.”

Nelly Korda shot 70 and was at 5 under.

Kristen Gillman aced the par-3 13th hole and will have to make arrangements to collect her BMW car. That was the prize for a hole-in-one on the 13th, on her way to a 71 and a 3-under 141 total. The LPGA Tour said it was the American’s first hole-in-one in competition.

She hit a 4-hybrid from 180 yards. Off the tee, Gillman and caddie John Killeen thought the ball got caught in the wind. But when she heard the crowd reaction, she knew the ball had gone in the hole.

“It was nice to finally have my first hole-in-one because it’s kind of been a running joke between me and my friends that I’ve holed out a lot of shots on par 4s and par 5s but never on a par 3,” Gillman said.

Gillman won a BMW 7 Series sedan, an upgrade from the Toyota Camry she currently drives around Austin, Texas.

“I didn’t even look at the car because I didn’t even know I made a hole-in-one,” Gillman said.

Brooke Henderson shot 68 and was also at 3 under, while Charley Hull (69) was 2 under.

There is no cut in the limited-field event of 84 players.

It’s the second stop on the LPGA Tour’s Asian swing with tournaments in Taiwan and Japan scheduled over the next two weeks.

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