2 of the best putters in the world lead the CN Canadian Women's Open after 36 holes, Inbee Park and Cristie Kerr. Even though the current world #1 has found the fairway only 12 times in 2 rounds, she's taken only 51 putts on her way to a 67-65 start. Meanwhile, the former world #1 is hitting a lot more fairways and greens than Park, but Kerr has still taken only 56 putts as she's started with a pair of 66s.
Right behind them are rival Solheim Cuppers Karine Icher and Angela Stanford at -7, while Stanford's co-leader from the 1st round, 16-year-old defending champion Lydia Ko, is 1 more shot off the pace, tied with none other than Laura Davies, who needs only 2 more regular LPGA wins to qualify for the Hall of Fame, as well as Paula Creamer, who's looking for her 1st win since she took the U.S. Women's Open what feels like an eternity ago.
But Ko isn't the only teenager in the hunt. None other than Charley Hull and Lexi Thompson have closed the gap on her, the former with a bogey-free 66 that erases some of the pain of her back-to-back closing bogeys from the 1st round and the latter with a 6-birdie 65 that ties Ko, Stanford, Boeljon, and Park for 2nd-low round of the week and brings her to -4, 1 shot behind Hull and 2 behind Ko.
The low round of the week thus far belongs to Kathleen Ekey, who eagled the par-4 1st and never looked back, making 4 birdies and no bogeys the rest of the way to join Hull, Hee Young Park, and Stacy Prammanasudh at -5. And what of the other Solheim Cuppers? Most of them seem to be tied with Thompson at -4, among them Suzanne Pettersen, Catriona Matthew, and Caroline Hedwall from Team Euro and Brittany Lincicome, Jessica Korda, and Gerina Piller from Team USA. True, Morgan Pressel, Michelle Wie, Beatriz Recari, and Giulia Sergas missed the cut, while Carlota Ciganda is +1 and Anna Nordqvist and Azahara Muno are at E, but overall the Solheim Cuppers are doing very well for themselves so far this week. Jodi Ewart Shadoff's 66 and Brittany Lang's and Caroline Masson's 67s brought them to -3 at the halfway point. Not bad, ladies!
How about other top Asian golfers? Na Yeon Choi, Amy Yang, Shanshan Feng, and Momoko Ueda moved backwards, Choi to -2 after settling for a 71, Yang and Feng to E after taking a 71 and a 72, respectively, and Ueda to +1 after matching Feng's 72. But Ji-Yai Shin and In-Kyung Kim used 66s to move to E and -3, respectively, while Mika Miyazato's 67 brought her to -3 for the week and Ai Miyazato's 68 took her to -2. Heck, even Ya Ni Tseng fired a 68 today, just as So Yeon Ryu did to make the cut. Joining them were Se Ri Pak, Hee-Won Han, Sun Young Yoo, and Song-Hee Kim. Which is saying something, when Hall of Famer Karrie Webb missed the cut.
Tomorrow's pairings look pretty cool, what with Taiwan's own Tseng and Candie Kung (although Kung has had American citizenship for quite some time!) going off the 10th tee together at 9:15 am, Korean veterans Pak and Han going off the same tee 80 minutes later, 6 Solheim Cuppers in a row going off the 1st tee at 10:25 am (Pettersen, Hedwall, Lincicome) and 10:35 am (Korda Matthew, Piller), and Ko and Hull facing off at 10:55 am from the 1st tee. The top 6 on the leaderboard round out the last 2 threesomes at 11:05 and 11:15 am. We'll see if fatigue starts to set in on the Solheim Cuppers, whether someone from back in the pack can go low tomorrow, and who among those playing well already will keep on rolling. If Park's and Kerr's putters heat up even more, the rest of the field had better bring their A-plus games for moving day!
[Update 1 (8/24/13, 10:05 am): Here's bangkokbobby's take on round 2! And Ruthless Mike on Charley Hull's great attitude.]