Grace Kim’s trump card sees her team share the lead in the Dow Championship

Grace Kim’s trump card sees her team share the lead in the Dow Championship

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MIDLAND, Mich. — Grace Kim had a hole-in-one on Friday, teaming with Auston Kim to hit eight birdies in a fourballs format. She finished at 9-under 61 and shared the lead in the Dow Championship with five others.

The best score in the second round went to Danish duo Nicole Broch Estrup and Olympic Games participant Nanna Koertz Madsen, who birdied their last two holes for a score of 60.

Ally Ewing and Jennifer Kupcho of the United States had a 64, the same score as in foursomes during the opening round. Thai duo Jaravee Boonchant and Chanettee Wannasaen also had a 64, while Taiwanese duo Ssu-chia Cheng and Wei-Ling Hsu had a 63.

The leading five pairs were at 12-under 128, setting up a wide-open weekend at Midland Country Club in the LPGA Tour’s only official team event.

Three other teams, including Charley Hull and Georgia Hall of England, were one shot behind. Lexi Thompson and Brooke Henderson were among the two stragglers.

Auston Kim couldn’t remember the par 3 where she and her 23-year-old Australian teammate made bogey – rare for the fourballs format – but the par-3 seventh was not to be forgotten. They were just 1 under for the round at the time, and Auston Kim was the first to hit to 20 feet.

Grace Kim felt enough wind that she went up one club to a three-quarter iron 7, and things looked good overall.

‘I was obviously trying to make it close. All I see is it disappearing a bit. I’ve had many close shades, and this is actually my first. So very exciting,” said Grace Kim.

They birdied the next hole and then had five birdies on the back nine, not including the lone par 5 on the back hole.

“A lot of good came out of that hole, thanks to Grace,” Auston Kim said. “It felt really positive to move on from there.”

The Danes played late in the afternoon and had a 10-shot deficit to make up when they got to work. Koertz Madsen had an eagle on the par-5 third hole, and the pair extended their lead with birdies on the 17th and the par-3 final hole.

Ewing and Kupcho made three birdies on their first four holes, made three more on the back nine and never really ran into trouble all day.

“Jen played really solid,” Ewing said. “We looked really good, and when you play the best ball like that, when you both have birdie putts, that’s really big. And she made several birdies today. It was good to see another good score, especially on the best ball.”

Cheng and Hsu were awarded a bonus shot when Cheng holed out for Eagle on the par-4 12th.

“It definitely pumped us up a lot,” Cheng said. “I liked the approach track, and I tried to be there and have a good tempo and a good swing on it, and it went in. We were just really happy.”

“She just won’t give me the chance to shoot again,” Hsu added.

AP Golf:

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