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Bianca T15 as Kim paces The Ascendants

SOUTH Korean Kim Hyo-joo fires four birdies to put up a buffer on her LGPA The Ascendants lead with one more round to go. | SAM HODDE/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

TEXAS (AFP) — Bianca Pagdanganan and Dottie Ardina both shot a one-under-par 70 on Friday to make the cut in The Ascendant LPGA in Dallas as South Korean Kim Hyo-joo extended her lead to two strokes going into the weekend.

Pagdanganan held a two-under total of 140 on moving day, eight shots off the leader following her birdie binge from the 16th that made up for her bogeys on Nos. 5 and 7. She’s tied for 15th place.

Ardina was two strokes further with a 142 total after firing a 70. She’s tied for 40th on a round that saw birdies on the third, seventh and 13th and bogeys on the 11th and 12th.

Kim fired four birdies in a three-under par 68 on Friday to maintain a two-shot lead.

The World No. 7, who has five top-five finishes this year but has yet to add to her tally of five LPGA titles, had a 36-hole total of 10-under par 132, two clear of Paraguay’s Sofia Garcia with Celine Boutier and Lexi Thompson sharing third another two strokes back on 136.

“My shots were better than yesterday, but unfortunately the score wasn’t as good,” said Kim, who teed off on 10 and birdied three in a row at 17, 18 and one.

She added a birdie at the third, but gave that stroke back at the next hole with her only bogey of the day.

“I did hit the green a lot more, so I’m satisfied with that,” she said. “I was at the top of the leaderboard a couple times this season but weekend play hasn’t been as good sometimes.”

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