Emily Kristine Pedersen holds the lead after 36 holes of The ANNIKA driven by Gainbridge at Pelican for the first time in her career headed into the weekend.
Starting on the back nine, the Dane got off to a good start, recording back-to-back birdies on the first two par-4s to move to nine-under. With two quick pars to maintain her position, she picked up momentum once again, making three birdies over the last five holes on her front nine including on one of the two par 5s this week, No. 14. Pedersen made the turn at five-under par for the day and 12-under for the tournament. Another birdie on the par-4 1st extended her to 13-under par before hitting a stretch of holes that would bounce her back and forth between 12- and 13-under. She bogeyed Nos. 3, 6 and 9, but they were balanced out by the previous birdie on hole 1 as well as birdies on the par-4 5th and par-5 7th.
“Obviously I started really well, 5-under on the front nine. Holed some good putts. I think the greens were so pure in the morning. Not that they weren't this afternoon, but I had a few good rolls to start with. I think it got a little bit more windy out there and my back nine was not as I hoped. I hit a few uncommitted golf shots that I'm a little bit mad at myself about. I mean, that happens. Hopefully I can commit a bit more tomorrow and keep it going on the whole round.”
Pedersen ended the day with a 65 and a 36-hole total of 128, breaking her previous 36-hole scoring record by six strokes and breaking the previous 36-hole tournament scoring record of 129 at The ANNIKA set by Jennifer Kupcho and Lexi Thompson in 2021. While currently sitting at No. 80 in the Race to CME Globe points list, a win this week would be crucial to move her within the top-40 and secure her a spot at next week’s season-ending CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, Fla.
“I know I want to play next week as well. But at the end of the day I also know, and I've made this mistake so many times in the past, to think about oh, if I finish this, go in and look at the projected standings, and now I'm just like, you can't do anything about it,” said Pedersen. “So, I'm just trying to focus on putting together a good day, a good hole, good shot every day. So many times I've looked ahead and it's not gone well, so I'm trying to do something different.”
Japanese rookie Minami Katsu shot a second-round score of 67. Shae also started on the back nine and made two birdies in her first four holes before making the turn at two-under after a bogey and birdie canceled themselves out on holes 16 and 17. The 10-time JLPGA champion made two more birdies on her back nine, before recording a bogey at the 8th and finishing at 10-under par after 36 holes in her first start at The ANNIKA.
Thai player Jasmine Suwannapura sits in solo 3rd after a 65. She tied for the lowest second-round score amongst the field, with the help of eight birdies on Friday.
Six players sit in a tie for fourth place at 8-under after tricky greens and afternoon winds brought the round two scoring average to 70.041.