Australian Major Winner Breaks 36-hole Scoring Record
In an eventful day at Columbia Edgewater Country Club, overnight leader Hannah Green holds a commanding five shot lead at the halfway stage of the 48th edition of the Cambia Portland Classic after a second round 63 (-9) took her to 17-under-par.
Starting the day in a share of first place, the Australian 22-year-old immediately put daylight between herself and the rest of the field, making four birdies and an eagle in the first seven holes en route to a front nine of 30 strokes.
Two further gains after the turn, followed by an eighth birdie of the day at the par four 17th, saw Green record a tournament 36-hole scoring record of 127 (-17) strokes – breaking the previous record set by Georgia Hall last year (129, -15).
Putting proved to be key to success again, needing only 27 putts today after 23 in her first round. No surprise, she is ranked T1 in total putts this week.
Speaking about her form on the greens, Hannah said, “My ball striking was a lot better today. That’s probably why I had a couple more putts than yesterday, but I’m really pleased to back up a solid round yesterday with another one. I felt like I gave myself a lot of opportunities over the last two days, so I’m really happy that I was able to capitalize on them all.”
Green, who has actually changed her putting grip since her breakthrough major victory in June, explained her decision to go back to a conventional grip:
“It’s funny, I was actually wanted to do it the week before KPMG, but I figured before a major is not the best time so didn’t. Growing up, I used to putt conventionally and about three years ago, I went to left-hand-low, which I used until three weeks ago. I actually feel a lot more solid than I did and I think just for a pure confidence thing, that’s what I wanted to do.”
Trailing her by five strokes in T2 is Rolex Ranked No. 2 Sung Hyun Park and nine-time LPGA winner Sei Young Kim, who broke the course record with a stunning round of 61 (-11).
Kim, who now holds three LPGA course records, made 11 birdies and 7 pars including a closing 15ft birdie putt on the 9th (her 18th) and recalled her strategy post round:
“Yesterday I had too many numbers so I told him, Paul (my caddie), just give me one number. I’m just going to hit the pin. That’s the only way. So we did a great job today.”
No more than 30 minutes prior to Kim finishing, America’s Sarah Schmelzel became just the fifth player in history to shoot 62 (-10) joining the likes of Annika Sorenstam and defending champion Marina Alex in the record books.
Two-time major winner Park, who added a 65 (-7) to a yesterday’s 67 said:
“I still think that there’s room for me to improve but I definitely do want to win more. My first two rounds have been very good. Last week, I wasn’t 100 percent satisfied, so wanted to play a little better this week and I look forward to the weekend.”
Portland native and Oregon State amateur Ellie Slama continued to make a name for herself, firing a second round 69 (-3) to finish the day in T27 alongside names including past and present world no. 1’s Jin Young Ko and Lydia Ko.
Making her LPGA debut this week, Slama said, “‘I’m super excited to be in the mix. I won’t know how comfortable I am until I meet some of the world’s best players and play with them but I would love to play with Brooke just because she’s done so well here and she’s played here as an amateur, but we’ll see.”
Defending champion Marina Alex moved herself up the leaderboard with a second round 65 (-7).