Jin Young Ko shoots 5-under 67 to take Portland Classic lead

CORRECTS TO JIN YOUNG KO NOT JIN YUNG KO - Jin Young Ko, of South Korea, watches her tee shot on the second hole during the first round of the LPGA Cambia Portland Classic golf tournament in West Linn, Ore., Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola) (Steve Dipaola, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

WEST LINN, Ore. – Jin Young Ko shot a 5-under 67 on Friday to take the second-round lead in the Cambia Portland Classic.

The second-ranked South Korean star needed only 23 putts in her morning round, making six birdies and a bogey to reach 8-under 136 at hilly, windy and tricky Oregon Golf Club.

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“I change the putter few weeks ago in Korea and I spend time, over a month, in Korea, so I feel really like comfortable and like fresh,” Ko said. “I’m playing really good right now.”

Gemma Dryburgh of Scotland was a stroke back after a 69.

“It was quite tough out there. It was quite windy,” Dryburgh said. “Reminded me of home a little bit, especially my back nine, the front nine. It’s a bit more open around there so it’s kind of tricky.”

Carlota Ciganda, the only member of the winning European Solheim Cup team in the field, had a 71 to get to 5 under.

“It was a tough day,” Ciganda said. “Took three hours to play the front nine, so it’s just, it’s a tough course. It’s a new course. It was really windy today. The front nine is playing quite tricky with the side winds.”

Jeongeun Lee (67), Jeongeun Lee6 (70), Andrea Lee (68), Alana Uriell (66), Su Oh (71), Jenny Shin (71) and Pajaree Anannarukarn (72) were 4 under.

Making her first start since the Tokyo Olympics, Ko rebounded after bogeying three straight holes late Thursday afternoon in an opening 69. She won in Texas in July for her eighth LPGA Tour victory.

“These fairways and greens are really narrow, so I had to hit it straight or like perfect shot,” Ko said. “So, it was a little nervous from the tee for everybody, but did I great job. I’m looking forward to the weekend.”

Rain was expected overnight and throughout the weekend at the scenic course that agreed to host the event a few months ago when it was shifted from Columbia Edgewater Country Club because of safety concerns about a homeless encampment bordering the Portland layout.

“I heard weekend weather is going to be not good,” Ko said. “Going to be a lot of raining.”

Laura Davies, at 57 the oldest player in the field, followed her opening 70 with a 75 to fall to 1 over. Brooke Henderson, the 2015 and 2016 winner, was 2 over after a 76.

Oregon State senior Ellie Slama advanced to the weekend at 3 over, following an opening 78 with a 69.

Stacy Lewis, the 2017 champion, missed the cut by a stroke with rounds of 73 and 78.

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