Stupples closes on Kim’s lead

Song-hee Kim leads the Kraft Nabisco Championship at Mission Hills with Karen Stupples a stroke back.

England’s Karen Stupples shot a second consecutive 69 at Mission Hills Country Club to move within a shot of the lead at the first major of the year, the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
Stupples, the 2004 Women’s British Open champion, is in a tie for second with world number one Lorena Ochoa of Mexico, and American Cristie Kerr on six under par, one stroke adrift of Korea’s Song-hee Kim, who moved to the top of the leaderboard at halfway with a round of 68 on the Dinah Shore Championship course in Rancho Mirage, California.
“I got off to a really good start, started birdie, birdie,” Stupples said of her three-under-par second round.
“That’s always a good way to go, especially on that back side. You really want to try to get a few in the bank before you hit 13, 14, 15, 16, so on and so on. So I was very happy with it.
“My ball striking has been good for the last two weeks, and I’m feeling very comfortable out there, so it was just nice to see some good scores going down on the card.”
Asked what she needed to do over the final two rounds to add a second major title to her list of honours, the Dover-born 36-year-old said: “Really much of the same.
“The only thing I would say I would like to improve on would be my wedge game. I’ve had a lot of wedges into these greens, and I really haven’t capitalised as much as I could have done.
“So maybe dial down the distance a little better, and maybe make a few 15 to 20-foot putts as well.
“I haven’t made an awful lot of those, and I’ve had a lot of opportunities from that distance. So I think when I finish (her press conference), I’m going to go work on some of those for sure.”
American Stacy Lewis and Australian Karrie Webb were tied for fifth place on five under while first round leader Suzann Pettersen of Norway fell back to four under following a second round, one-over 73, sharing seventh place with Yani Tseng of Taiwan.
Michelle Wie carded a second 71 of the week to get to two under while defending champion Brittany Lincicome took a backward step when her 74 saw her fall away to level par for the tournament.
England’s Laura Davies and Wales’ Becky Morgan are both on one over par after respective rounds of 71 and 70 but Morgan’s compatriot Becky Brewerton failed to capitalise on her opening 69 that left her tied for third, sliding out of contention with a 79.
Brewerton is at three over par alongside Scotland’s Catriona Matthew with England’s Melissa Reid a further shot back on four over while Janice Moodie of Scotland missed the cut.