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Hanging tough — Guce has clear path going into Q-Series Day 3

A new leader, So Mi Lee, rose into the first-place position at Q-Series and many fresh names moved into the top 10.

DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 06: Clariss Guce of USA plays her shot on the third tee during the first round of the Epson Tour Championship at the Champions course at LPGA International on October 06, 2022 in Daytona Beach, Florida. Mike Stobe/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Mike Stobe / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Clariss Guce fired another 68 on Friday amid a strong performance of the rest of the field on Day 2 of the Q-Series at Magnolia Grove Golf Course in Mobile, Alabama.

The Filipina shot-maker, on a frenetic quest for a full card status at next year’s LPGA, birdied Nos. 4, 6 and 11 of the Par-71 Falls course.

She is just three shots off the leadership at shared ninth place as she fights to get into the Top 45 of the six-round qualifying tourney.

Fellow Filipina Pauline del Rosario and Dottie Ardina are in dire straits after falling to joint 52nd.

Del Rosario fired a 70 for 142 at Crossing course, while Ardina had a second consecutive 71 at Falls.

A new leader, So Mi Lee, rose into the first-place position at Q-Series and many fresh names moved into the top 10.

All players played the opposite course of what they played in the first round, and many seemed to maximize the opportunities of playing a different course.

With a bogey-free round, Lee moved from a tie in fourth to sole lead after a second-round 65 on the Falls Course.

The Korean had a solid and consistent day, making three birdies on each side to turn in a six-under round. She started her day hot, making three birdies in her first five holes of the day on the par-3 2nd, par-4 4th and the par-5 5th.

Lee would make a string of pars from holes 6 through 12 to maintain her spot at seven-under for the tournament before a late push on her last few holes bumped her into first place. She had her second set of back-to-back birdies on Nos. 13 and 14 on Friday before making her final birdie of the day on the par-4 17th hole.

Americans Jennifer Song and Mina Harigae trail Lee by just one shot heading into the weekend, currently sitting at nine-under par over the past two rounds.

Song also went bogey-free on Friday, shooting a 65 just like leader, Lee. With friend Amy Yang on the bag, Song teed off on No. 1 on the Falls Course and made a string of pars on the first five holes before grabbing her first set of birdies on holes 6 and 7.

The 2011 LPGA Tour Rookie made the turn at two-under and scored back-to-back birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 to continue her climb. In her last seven holes, she made birdies on the par-4 14th and on the final hole of the day, the par-5 18th. Song credited her patience and mentality as the keys to her solid play today.

Frenchwoman Pauline Roussin, 2023 LPGA Tour Rookie Hyo Joon Jang, 2023 Epson Tour winner Yue Ren, Canadian Maddie Szeryk and former Clemson University player Savannah Grewal sit in a tie for fourth place at eight-under par after the second round. With six players sitting in a tie for ninth place at seven under, the leaderboard remains busy with players eager to stay near the top.

 

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