Australian Karrie Webb posted three birdies on her closing nine holes to ensure that she finished just one back from Spain’s Beatriz Recari heading into the weekend at the US$1.7m Kia Classic in Carlsbad, California.
Webb, who started the day one shot behind first round leader American Jane Park, posted a two-under-par 70 on the Aviara Golf Club to go with her opening round of 67 to be at seven-under-par total. The 38-year-old is in a perfect position to contend for her 39th LPGA tour victory come Sunday.
Webb started on the 10th tee and had an uneventful front nine with all pars except a bogey on the par 3 14th. A birdie on the 2nd gave her a much needed shot of momentum. She then went on to post another two birdies on the 5th and 7th.
Recari shot one of the best rounds of the day on Friday, a five-under 67, to sit atop of leaderboard. Recari moved to eight-under par after her bogey-free, five birdie round and holds a one-shot lead over Webb and American Paula Creamer. Americans Park and Cristie Kerr and the South Korean trio of Inbee Park, Haeji Kang and IK Kim are just a shot further adrift and right in the mix.
“I hit it pretty similar to yesterday, probably just didn't make as many putts today as I did yesterday,” said Webb.
“I think the pins are a little bit trickier, I found anyway, than yesterday. So I had a good last nine holes, I turned in 1 over but I felt like I was still playing pretty good. Three birdies on the back, so it was a pretty good round.”
Webb is coming off back-to-back top 20 finishes in Singapore and Phoenix and said some extra analytical work this week has helped piece things together.
“It's sort of come together,” said Webb.
“I put some hard work in at the beginning of the week because I wasn't super happy with the way I've been hitting it and watching video and emailing the video and lessons over the phone. But it's nice to feel like I know where the ball's going.”
Lindsey Wright was the only other Australian to make it through to Saturday. The Victorian carded a two-over-par 74 on Friday to be at two-over for the tournament and tied for 50th position.
The cut was made at three-over-par and 74 players will contest the remaining 36 holes. Unfortunately, New South Wales Sarah Kemp will be ruing the bogey she recorded on her 18th hole, the 9th, as she missed the cut by one. Queenslanders Katherine Hull-Kirk (+6) and Sarah Jane Smith (+15) and New South Wales Julia Boland (+16) will also be missing.