In Gee Chun surges into lead at AIG Women’s Open

In Gee Chun of South Korea carded a 5-under-par 66 in the second round to seize a one-stroke lead at the AIG Women’s Open on Friday in Gullane, Scotland.

Chun recorded six birdies — including five in her last 10 holes — against one bogey to reside at 8-under 134 at historic Muirfield.

“So before I start (a) tournament, my caddie, Dean, and I talk about the course. And after that, we had a little bit of betting, our game,” Chun said. “If I make the bogey-free round, he said he’s going to buy dinner and pay me like $100 for each day if I can make it.

“So before I start (my) round, I always like setting another goal to make bogey-free round. I think that mindset has helped a lot on the course.”

Chun, a three-time major champion and four-time LPGA Tour winner, leads South African Ashleigh Buhai and Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom. The latter two golfers each shot a 65 on Friday to sit in a tie for second place at 7-under 135.

Buhai scored an eagle-3 on No. 5 and also had five birdies and one bogey.

“I stayed very patient,” Buhai said. “Stuck with my steps and my processes, which is my goal this week, just do those well and hopefully the outcome takes care of itself. I’ve been doing that pretty well the last few weeks.”

Sagstrom recorded four birdies in a five-hole stretch on the front nine. She was quick to credit her putting game — repeatedly — after finishing with eight birdies against two bogeys on Friday.

“Putting. Putting, putting, putting. I did miss two quite short putts but I putted really, really well today,” said Sagstrom, who tied for second at this tournament last year.

“… I was hitting it good enough to give myself some chances and keeping it in play. Didn’t hit in the bunkers today which helps out in links golf but putting was the thing.”

Seven-time major champion Inbee Park of South Korea shot a 67 on Friday to sit two strokes in back of Chun.

Australian Hannah Green (66) benefited from a three-birdie finish to join Japan’s Miyu Yamashita (68) in a tie for fifth place at 5-under.

First-round leader Hinako Shibuno (73) collected three bogeys against one birdie to sit in a four-way tie for seventh place with Frenchwoman Celine Boutier (70) and Australians Minjee Lee (70) and rookie Stephanie Kyriacou (68).

Jessica Korda followed up her 66 on Thursday with a 74 on Friday and is tied for 17th. She recorded four straight bogeys on holes Nos. 13-16 and sits at 2-under.

South Korean Jin Young Ko (71) missed the cut after limping to a 5-over 147 for the tournament. The 2021 LPGA Player of the Year became the first women’s reigning world No. 1 to miss the cut in a major since Sung Hyun Park at the 2018 Evian Championship.

Defending champion Anna Nordqvist also missed the cut after registering a 72 on Friday and 4-over 146.