by Ronan MacNamara
Leona Maguire by Golffile
Leona Maguire was stuck in neutral on day two of the BMW Ladies Championship in Korea as she fired a second round of level-par 72 to remain on two-under-par at the halfway stage.
It leaves the Cavan native in a share of 44th place which will be music to the ears of Patty Tavatanakit who will win LPGA Tour Rookie of the Year if Maguire can’t finish inside the top-6 this week.
Maguire is currently six shots outside the top-6 with 36 holes to play.
At three-over through ten holes, the 26-year-old’s hopes of winning the award were all but over after an opening brace of bogeys before another bogey on ten left her on the ropes.
In typical Maguire fashion she showed grit and determination to salvage something out of the round. A kickstart eagle on 11 put the wheels in motion and she followed that with a birdie two on 16 to make sure she got into the clubhouse on two-under.
It’s tight at the top with first round leader Na Rin An getting caught by Hee Jeong Lim, meaning the pair will take a one stroke lead into the weekend in Busan.
An shot a three-under 69 while Lim went three better with a 66 to leave the pair on eleven-under.
2019 runner up Danielle Kang and In Gee Chun are just one shot back on ten-under after rounds of 68 and 69 respectively.
Lim is yet to drop a shot through the first 36 holes and has set herself lofty expectations heading into the weekend.
“So I would like to pat myself on the back because the first round and the second round went bogey-free. And also in terms of my shots and my putting, I think they went well. But we have a long way to go, so I have much expectations for the next two rounds.
“So my goal is to minimize the number of bogeys rather than maximize the number of birdies. And I feel good today, so I want to keep the momentum going.”
Elsewhere, Olivia Mehaffey is very much up against it at LPGA Tour Qualifying after an opening round of eight-over 80 left her in a share of 171st position.
A triple bogey seven on the 8th left the Tandagree native behind the 8 ball and she couldn’t wrestle back the momentum as she finished with four bogeys in her last six holes to compound the damage.