Five Things to Know from Round Two
By Amy Rogers
Aditi Ashok takes the lead into the weekend in L.A.
Aditi Ashok will be chasing her first LPGA Tour victory this weekend at the JM Eagle LA Championship presented by Plastpro. The four-time winner on the Ladies European Tour has enjoyed great success on the LET this season. She won the season opener and hasn’t finished worse than third in her three starts. She may just be finding that same form this week on the LPGA this week in Los Angeles where she’s making her fourth start of the season and where she’s made her first cut of the season. Ashok says she’s crediting her success to a putter change she made earlier in the week, swapping out her putter for a lighter version of the same model.
“My putting was a lot better than the last three weeks and much more like my usual self,” Ashok said after her opening round. “I think the last three weeks, I couldn't lean on my putting as much, and I just changed putters this week, and it's kind of working good.”
In Kyung Kim makes hole-in-one
In Kyung Kim recorded an ace at the par 3, 12th hole on Friday for her 10th career hole-in-one. Kim hit a five iron to the hole, which she says played about 163 yards in round two. The ace gave Kim a much needed boost to her week as she hovered outside the cut line after an opening round of 73 but bounced back with a 69 on Friday to move to Even par through 36 holes and advance to the weekend.
“That hole was left-to-right wind and then the pin was on the left. It's one of, I think, the toughest pin positions, and I just focused on landing the front of the green,” Kim said about her slam dunk at the 12th hole. “It looked promising and then it looked pretty good, and then just went in.”
Thanks to Kim’s hole-in-one, CME will make a $20,000 donation on her behalf to the St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
Notables miss the weekend in L.A.
Tough scoring conditions on day two of the JM Eagle LA Championship resulted in several players being sent packing, with the top 65 and ties making the cut at one over par. Grace Kim and Celine Boutier, two winners already this season on the LPGA Tour, did not make the weekend in L.A. After missing the cut, Boutier posted on Instagram: “Started in Hawaii, ended in LA and stopped in Houston in between! Fun 3 weeks on the road but ready for some [sleeping emoji].” Jessica Korda, Jennifer Kupcho, and Leona Maguire also missed the cut at Wilshire Country Club.
A bunched up leaderboard
There is a jam-packed leaderboard through 36 holes of the inaugural JM Eagle LA Championship with 20 players within four strokes of the lead and only seven strokes separating leader Aditi Ashok from those who made the cut. Players fought challenging conditions in round two in which the poa annua greens got the best of some of the world’s best and players averaged two strokes over par on Friday. Minjee Lee tumbled from T2 to T22 as she struggled to get any putts to drop on Friday. And Danielle Kang dropped from T4 to T44 with rounds of 66-77. Cristie Kerr, who led early on day one, carded a second round of 78 to miss the cut.
How to watch
The third round of the inaugural JM Eagle LA Championship presented by Plastpro airs from 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. ET live on Golf Channel. The schedule is the same for the fourth and final round from Wilshire Country Club on Sunday.