Friday’s Top Five from the U.S. Women’s Open
By Stephanie Wei under LPGA
IK Kim

IK Kim in good position to secure first major championship

Don’t worry, the USGA wasn’t going to go all soft on the ladies two days in a row at the U.S. Women’s Open. Along with breezy conditions on Friday at Sebonack, the pin placements were much less accessible than Thursday’s setup.

Second-round play was suspended due to fog, but here’s the Top Five from the second round: 

5. Lizette Salas: The spunky American followed her first-round 68 with an even-par 72 — always a respectable score at a U.S. Open. “I’m not as pleased with it just because I was striking the ball very well,” she said. “At the same time you have to look at the bright side, and you have to take into effect the wind and the weather, how it’s a completely different golf course.  I was still hitting my targets and even though the putts didn’t fall, I still was confident over every shot and, you know, I really wanted to make birdie on the last hole.”

Earlier this year, Salas finished 25th at the Kraft Nabisco Championship after entering the final round in second place, but such experiences have allowed her to grow stronger and learn how to handle those situations better.

4. Lydia Ko: The 16-year-old amateur won an LPGA event last year when she was 15, so naturally, that means she should capture a major championship at 16, right? Well, it’s no surprise that Ko will likely be in the mix over the weekend. She shot 72 on Thursday and she’s currently three-over today with two holes to play in her second round.

3. Brooke Henderson: The 15-year-old Canadian amateur shot scores of 71-76. She wasn’t as thrilled with her second round, blaming her woes on the greens for posting three-over. “I missed a lot of putts; I made one birdie, so that was a huge factor.  I three-putted twice so putter wasn’t working as well as I wanted it to, but I still had some good holes in there.  At times I felt good, but bogey on the last doesn’t help.” Oh, please, girl — you’re 15 and you’re playing two more rounds at the U.S. Women’s Open. Enough said. Good job!

2. Inbee Park: She’s so steady and consistent that she’s almost boring, except she’s just so freaking good that she’s amazing. After two early bogeys, Park bounced back and birdied four of her remaining 11 holes to shoot another 68. While there are still players yet to finish the second round, I think it’s safe to assume Park will remain the 36-hole leader. Can anyone say third major championship of the year?

1. IK Kim: Everyone loves this girl because how can you not?? (And if you don’t, you’re a miserable human being.) She’s super sweet and handled herself with the utmost grace after missing a devastating tap-in putt that cost her a playoff in the Kraft Nabisco Championship last year (video below to refresh your memory). Needless to say, everyone would love to see her hoist a major trophy. Kim shot scores of 69-68 and trails Park by two.

“Well, I think it’s just a part of the  everybody has ups and downs,” said Kim. “Definitely finishing top 5 in the U.S. Open is not a bad idea.  How to say, not a bad place, you know.  But definitely, there’s times that I was disappointed.  But I think, you know, I just have a faith, you know, if you do your best and everything is going to be okay.

“And I think especially playing USGA tournaments I’ve just learned so much.  I want to thank the USGA and LPGA Tour for making me a better golfer.  And competing with so many great players out here, I feel like I’m fortunate to compete against them and keep growing as a golfer but as a human being.”

(AP Photo)