Pettersen shares lead in Ontario

Norway’s Suzann Pettersen made seven birdies in a 10-hole stretch to grab a share of the lead at the Manulife LPGA Classic.

The two-time major champion followed up an opening 66 with a bogey-free, seven-under-par 65 at Whistle Bear Golf Club on Friday.

That gave her a share of the lead on 13 under par alongside Colombia’s Mariajo Uribe, who shot a 66 after an opening 65.

Pettersen hasn’t been as regular a presence at the top of leaderboards as she once was, but says she is slowly getting back to her best, having put in a lot of hard work off the course.

“Why I am playing well is hard work over time,” she told Golf Channel. “I am starting to kind of put the puzzles together. “I’m really looking forward to next week so this is a good test.

“I am hitting the drives really good and long which is nice and that puts me in a good position for the par-fives. If you play this course well, I think par is five or six under.
“I decided to go out, be patient and hit a lot of good shots.”

Co-leader Uribe said: “Usually I don’t like courses that you have to go a lot really low, so I’m just having fun and stay patient and liking it.”

Joint overnight leader Cristie Kerr, whose 63 on Thursday equalled the course record, lies one shot back in second place after a 69, while former World No 1 Yani Tseng is in a large group on 11 under that includes Kim Kaufman, Victoria Elizabeth, Pernilla Lindberg, Hyo Joo Kim, Brittany Lang and Laetitia Beck.

Lying on 10 under, just three shots off the pace, is China’s Shanshan Feng and Julieta Granada.

Tiger Woods’ niece, Cheyenne Woods, who held a share of the lead after an first-round 63, could only follow that up with a one-over-par 73. She lies on eight under par, five off the pace.

World No 1 Lydia Ko is five under par after a 68, while her closest rival Inbee Park shot a 68 to reach seven under.

“I feel like I’m playing good enough but just the scores aren’t there,” said Ko.

“Kingsmill, I knew I played good but it’s just a couple under and that wasn’t going to cut it. Dallas, that was a whole different week. When I know and I have the confidence that, hey, I am playing good, it’s just the scores aren’t coming, I’ve just got to keep the head high and just be confident for the next two days.”