On day two at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Magnolia Grove, a new leader, So Mi Lee, rose into the first-place position at Q-Series and many fresh names moved into the top ten. All players played the opposite course of what they played in the first round, and many seemed to maximize the opportunities of playing a different course.
With a bogey-free round, Lee moved from a tie in fourth to sole lead after a second-round 65 on the Falls Course. The Korean had a solid and consistent day, making three birdies on each side to turn in a six-under round. She started her day hot, making three birdies in her first five holes of the day on the par-3 2nd, par-4 4th and the par-5 5th. Lee would make a string of pars from holes 6 through 12 to maintain her spot at seven-under for the tournament before a late push on her last few holes bumped her into first place. She had her second set of back-to-back birdies on Nos. 13 and 14 on Friday before making her final birdie of the day on the par-4 17th hole.
“I practiced a lot on my approach shots in case my shots wouldn’t hit well. But they did and I actually didn’t have many approaches, outside of maybe one bunker shot. I think that’s what led to a bogey-free round. I don’t know if my shots would be hitting just as well tomorrow, but I’m going to do my best to complete another bogey-free round,” said Lee. “Since round one, I had the mindset of ‘It is what it is.’ I’ll have a similar mindset heading to the rest of the rounds.”
Americans Jennifer Song and Mina Harigae trail Lee by just one shot heading into the weekend, currently sitting at nine-under par over the past two rounds. Song also went bogey-free on Friday, shooting a 65 just like leader, Lee. With friend Amy Yang on the bag, Song teed off on No. 1 on the Falls Course and made a string of pars on the first five holes before grabbing her first set of birdies on holes 6 and 7. The 2011 LPGA Tour Rookie made the turn at two-under and scored back-to-back birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 to continue her climb. In her last seven holes, she made birdies on the par-4 14th and on the final hole of the day, the par-5 18th. Song credited her patience and mentality as the keys to her solid play today.
“I think it's just been placing myself in the right location. I wasn't trying to be too greedy out there when there was a chance to make putts. I think a lot of them converted into birdies, so I putted really well today. I think that is why I had a great round today,” said Song. “I was really calm out there. Then the entire time I think I told myself, be calm like Inbee (Park) and have a butter rhythm like Amy Yang.”
With another scorecard that saw no bogeys, Harigae shot 66 in her second round to join Song in a tie for second. Harigae had a quiet front nine, making just one birdie on the par-3 No. 6. She made a quick birdie on hole 10 before having another string of pars from holes 11 to 14. The 2010 LPGA Tour Rookie made back-to-back birdies on the par-4s, 15 and 16. Like Song, she also took advantage of one last par 5 and made a birdie on the 18th to turn in a five-under round.
Frenchwoman Pauline Roussin, 2023 LPGA Tour Rookie Hyo Joon Jang, 2023 Epson Tour winner Yue Ren, Canadian Maddie Szeryk and former Clemson University player Savannah Grewal sit in a tie for fourth place at eight-under par after the second round. With six players sitting in a tie for ninth place at seven under, the leaderboard remains busy with players eager to stay near the top.