Friday, May 20, 2016

 Ryu goes lowest with a 66 at Kingsmill

Two players in search of their first victories on the LPGA Tour in more than two years have well positioned themselves to return to the winner’s circle this weekend in Virginia.
Playing together on Friday, So Yeon Ryu and Stacy Lewis teed off early on day two and went low, feeding off each other's birdies on the River Course at the Kingsmill Championship presented by JTBC. 
Ryu carded the low round of the tournament thus far with a seven-under par, 64 to take the outright lead early in round two. Lewis posted a bogey free, five-under par, 66 to sit just one back of Ryu.
“Well, you know, it's really fun to play with someone consistently making birdies. Also we're not really competing with each other, we're just really supportive of each other. Even when we have a bad shot, we keep talking to the ball, "stay there," or just "keep up." It was really fun to play with Stacy,” Ryu told the media.
Ryu is a three-time winner including U.S. Women’s Open Champion and owns the current longest active cut streak on the LPGA Tour but has gone winless since 2014. Ryu made changes with her swing to start this season in an effort to try and improve and earn a coveted position on the Republic of Korea’s UL International Crown and Olympic teams. Her hard work with instructor Cameron McCormick has paid off, with Ryu picking up three top-10’s so far this season, including the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic where she posted an opening round 63 for her low round of the year.
“Actually these days what I'm really focused is got back to confidence. The thing is, I think since Hawai'i I really played really well. I always feel I'm ready to play well, I'm ready to win a tournament, but I couldn't get enough like confidence,” Ryu said. 
“So I think that was the reason why I couldn't really finish well. So I hope I can get -- really enjoy this tournament, and I'm just going to have, okay, I'm a really good player, I can do this. I'm just going to keep talking to myself like that.”
Ryu finished runner-up at the Kingsmill Championship last season, two-strokes back of winner Minjee Lee.

Like Ryu, Lewis has showed signs of returning to form, coming off her second runner-up finish of the season in her last start at the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic. Lewis plays well on the River Course, posting three top-12 finishes in recent years. Her second round 66 is her lowest round since the JTBC Founders Cup in March.

After an opening round 66, defending champion Minjee Lee struggled on day two, carding four bogeys and four birdies with 31 putts to finish the day right where she started at five-under par heading into the weekend.