Ariya Jutanugarn takes lead at windy Women’s Scottish Open

Sports

FIFE, Scotland (AP) — Ariya Jutanugarn had five birdies in a six-hole stretch on the back nine and shot a 6-under 66 on Friday to take the second-round lead in the LPGA Tour’s windy and rainy Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open.

Playing in the morning in wind gusting to 40 mph at Dumbarnie Links, Jutanugarn birdied Nos. 12 and 13 and 15-17. The 25-year-old Thai star won the 2018 tournament at Gullane Golf Club.

“I felt like after I played in the afternoon yesterday, it is really windy, and I feel like today going to be better in the morning, but actually it’s not, so the wind start to blow really hard since like first hole and last three holes even worse,” Jutanugarn said. “I feel pretty lucky I finish before everything to come.”

Jutanugarn has two victories this year, the Honda LPGA Thailand and Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational team event alongside sister Moriya.

“I don’t really feel like I’m really confident or I’m not confident at all. But I think like just have to go day by day to me,” Jutanugarn said. “When I say I still have so much thing to work on, and to me, I just want to be chilling on the course because I know when I’m chilling on the course, everything going to take care of themselves.”

Jutanugarn was at 9-under 135 total, three strokes ahead of fellow Thai player Atthaya Thitikul (70), England’s Charley Hull (69) and Denmark’s Emily Kristine Pedersen (69).

“Left a few shots out there on the back nine,” Hull said. “I left a 7-, 8-foot putt an inch off the hole, but was dead in line. But the greens were slower today and they didn’t double cut them. Felt really good. Nice to be around home turf, even in Europe. Feels more like home.”

Pederson had two eagles along with five birdies and six bogeys.

“I’ve only missed I think eight greens in two days, which is quite solid,” Pederson said. “My chipping has been really good. Obviously, it’s frustrating feeling so many parts of the game are good, and then lacking the putting a little bit.”

U.S. Women’s Open champion Yuka Saso (72) was 5 under with Jeongeun Lee6 (68), Lydia Hall (70), Kelsey MacDonald (71), Ryann O’Toole (71) and Sarah Schmelzel (71).

“In the range, I prepared just control shot,” Lee6 said. “The green is a little bit slow today. So I focused on just speed, putting.”

Michele Thomson of Scotland, the first-round leader after a 65, had an 80 to drop into a tie for 45th at 1 over. She had a birdie and nine bogeys.

Defending champion Stacy Lewis also was 1 over after a 74. She won last year at The Renaissance Club.

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