Stephanie Meadow moved up 25 places to tied 27th and into contention for a card after a second round 70 in the LPGA Qualifying School in Florida.
Four birdies and two bogeys on the Jones Course left the Jordanstown star just one stroke outside the top 20 who will win full cards but 10 behind two-time Solheim Cup member Mel Reid (64) and 17-year-old rising Japanese star Nasa Hataoka (65) who lead on 11-undr 133 at LPGA International in Daytona Beach.
Conditions were calm on Thursday and that was reflected in the scoring as a total of 62 players finished under-par in round two compared to 37 in round one.
“I really have played much better than I expected,” Hataoka, who won a JLPGA major in October, admitted. “I’ve been putting very good and am really happy about it.”
Meadow is tied 27th with English amateur Bronte Law, who shot a 68 on the Jones Course.
The LPGA reported:
Hataoka carded a 7-under 65 on the Hills Course while Reid posted the round of the week thus far with an 8-under 64 on the Jones Course.
“64 is always nice,” Reid said with a smile. “I thought I could’ve gone deep out there today. I feel like I missed two or three other chances easily. With the winds and stuff I was pretty happy. All in all I hit most of the shots that me and Benji discussed and I feel like my swing is in a good place.”
While Reid is happy to be tied for the lead, she knows she has more to accomplish this week.
“You can’t let off the gas in this,” Reid said. “I’m 11-under after two rounds but I’m not letting my foot off the gas. I’ve got a number in mind and I’m trying to get to that number if not past it. All-in-all I’m very happy with how I’m swinging it and how things are going.”
Helping the cause for Reid has been a laid back approach off the course.
“I tried to make this week as relaxed as possible,” Reid explained. “I know it’s a tough week and that it’s a bit of a slog but you just need to have a good environment around you. I’m staying at one of my friend’s place in New Smyrna which is awesome and we just go to the beach at night to try and make it as relaxed as possible.”
The duo holds a three shot cushion over Jaye Marie Green (Boca Raton, Florida), who sits in third place at 8-under par. Latvian Krista Puisite and South Carolina senior Katelyn Dambaugh (a) share fourth at 6-under, 138.
Round three will begin at 8:00 a.m. with the leaders teeing off at 10:12 Hills and 10:23 on Jones.
Level par for McGinley
Champions Tour — Paul McGinley added a level par 72 to rounds of 85 and 75 to lie 73rd entering the final round of the Champions Tour Q-School in Florida.
The Dubliner, 49, made two birdies on his opening nine but handed those shots back with a double bogey six at the second, his 11th, before mixing two birdies with two bogeys over his last six holes at Disney's Magnolia Course in Orlando,
McGinley is on 15 over par and out of the running for even conditional status for 2017.
Scott Parel shot 69 to lead by one on 10-under from Welshman Phillip Price and Skip Kendall, while Gene Jones is in fourth and Brian Henninger is 7-under and in position to claim the fifth and final fully-exempt spot on PGA TOUR Champions for 2017.
Parel opened with a 65 Tuesday at Disney’s Magnolia Course, but fell off the pace after a triple-bogey on No. 2 derailed his second round and led to an even-par 72. He is 6-under in the 34 holes since the triple, including four birdies and one bogey in Thursday’s third round.