Kim keeps LPGA lead


Mindy Kim kept her quest for a first LPGA title on course Friday, firing a five-under 67 to maintain her two-shot lead at the State Farm Classic. Kim, who had posted a career-best 64 in the first round, had a 36-hole total of 131 at the Panther Creek Country Club course. She was two strokes in front of world number one Yani Tseng of Taiwan, who carded a 66 for 133 and China’s Feng Shanshan, whose 65 was the best round of the day.
Kim’s seven birdies included four in a row from the 12th hole. Despite bogeys at eight and 10, she claimed the first 36-hole lead of her LPGA career, continuing the strong form she has displayed this season.
She has three top-10 finishes in six events this year and has yet to miss a cut. A three-time winner on the developmental Futures Tour in 2008, Kim said she is more focused on her game than in recent seasons. “I wasn’t necessarily working that hard the last two years,” Kim said. “I was kind of going through some personal issues, so wasn’t really into it.
“But this offseason I practiced really hard, worked hard, and I think I’m getting all the results now.” South Korea’s Jiyai Shin had a hole-in-one on the par-three second hole in a 68 that put her alone in fourth on 134. It was a further shot back to Amanda Blumenherst, who carded a 67 for 135. Brittany Lincicome, winner on Sunday in New Jersey, shot a 69 to join a group on 136 that also included Paula Creamer (68) and Jennifer Johnson (67).