KIM TAKES SECOND ROUND LEAD
After 36 holes in the seventh annual IOA Golf Classic at Alaqua Country Club, Min G Kim (Cheongju, People’s Republic of Korea) leads the way with at 10-under par. She carded a 5-under 66 on Saturday and will tee off on Sunday tomorrow at 9:50 a.m. ET in the final pairing.
“Tomorrow, I want to just keep it in the fairway, make the second shot close, then just don't blow a chance. I have to hit it close and make the putt,” said Kim. “I have gained some distance for sure off the tee and that makes a huge difference especially on this course is where the greens are smaller.”
This year Kim claimed two top-15 finishes, including a solo 8 at the IOA Championship presented by Morongo Casino Resort & Spa. With a two-week break since a tie for 50th at the Four Winds Invitational, Kim practiced some but made sure to take her rest.
“I played in a local skins game but didn’t do too much else,” said Kim. “I got to go back home to Arizona which is nice too. I was mostly resting a lot I didn't really practice that much, but yeah it was a good reset button after South Bend.”
RETO COMPLETES FINAL PAIRING
Trailing the lead by one shot, Paula Reto (Bloemfontein, South Africa) is tied with Haylee Harford (Leavittsburg, Ohio) following a 6-under 65. She heads to Sunday in central Florida at 9-under overall.
“I do like Florida courses because I was somewhat raised here in Florida when it comes to playing golf,” said Reto. “It was a little bit up and down after Firekeepers Casino Hotel Championship. I actually played two good LPGA events and then a little bit of like a little dip so hopefully this will kind of bring that back out, but you know it's 2020 and you can't really expect too much.”
With two top-25 results in 4 starts on the Epson Tour so far this season, Reto is looking to finally seal the deal for her first professional win on the “Road to the LPGA.” The Purdue University alumna has also competed in three LPGA Tour events in 2020, including a finish of tied for 28th at the LPGA Drive On Championship.
“It’s always nice when the birdies roll in. Just trying to play a good game plan try to hit my fairways my greens you know simple as you know you should be keeping it but I had a couple close shots and I don't make the pots and I hit a couple longer 3035 feet and I made those possibilities so it's kind of like different but you know what I just kept giving myself chances”
FOURTH TIME IS A CHARM FOR WEARN
Coming off a tied for 29th at the Four Winds Invitational, Laura Wearn (Charolotte, NC) took a few strides forward and is only two shots back of the lead at 8-under par overall. This is Wearn’s fourth appearance on a row at Alaqua Country Club and first time making the cut.
“This course is always giving me a lot of trouble, so it's been really rewarding to see some progress this year. I put a new club in the bag the day before the tournament and it's been really awesome. It’s more of a longer iron which is made some of the shots a lot easier,” said Wearn. “I think I feel like I learned how to play this and where I can be aggressive and where I need to be smart, but I still get really nervous on some of the tee-shots.”
A graduate of Furman University, Wearn fired a 5-under 66 today and six birdies. She’ll highlight the second to last pairing off No. 1 tee at 9:40 a.m. ET tomorrow.
“I think I'll just have to stay really patient in one shot at a time. I got off to a little bit of a rough start today and brought it back so just knowing there's a lot of birdie opportunities out there and hopefully hit some good shots and make some putts.”
Haylee Rae Harford (-9, T2) on going 36-holes bogey-free:
“I just feel really confident in my game all around. It's nice to feel everything come together for once. I definitely can't remember the last time I went bogey free for that long so that's really nice just to feel that solid. I feel like I've managed myself really well out there and knew when to like play more conservative and when to be more aggressive and I think that's really helped me just learning like every single tournament the mistakes that I've made in the past and kind of building from that I think is really helped.”
Amanda Doherty (-7, 4) on her rookie season:
“This year has been crazy for everybody. Initially I thought I was going to miss the whole first half of the season to finish school and then that didn't end up happening. I struggled some going through a little bit of a swing change that is better in the long run but been kind of tough for a few tournaments. I think it's starting to come around for sure and I'm hitting the ball really well now.”
Allison Emrey (-6, T5) on building on the momentum from the first round:
“I feel like our group the last two days has really just fed off of each other and yesterday I played well just had one bogey, so I just wanted to carry all that into today. It's easy to do that with the quick turnaround playing late yesterday and early today.”
- Kim, 23, is from Cheongju, People’s Republic of Korea
- Finished T61 at the First Stage of the 2015 LPGA Qualifying Tournament to first earn Epson Tour status for the 2016 season
- Claimed two top-10 finishes in 2016, including T5 at the Epson Classic
- Competed in eight LPGA events in 2017, with best finish as T60 at the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open
- Recorded two top-10 finishes including season-best T2 at the Valley Forge Invitational in 2018
- Out of 20 starts she made 13 cuts last season