Rogers, AK – University of Arkansas graduate Stacy Lewis was one of three players to shoot a 6-under 65 on Saturday and grab a share of the lead of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship.
Chie Arimura and Beatriz Recari also fired 65s during their second round at Pinnacle Country Club, while So Yeon Ryu carded a 5-under 66 to make it a four-way tie atop the leaderboard at 10-under-par 132.
"I think the hard part is I'm going to want it so bad, and I know the fans are going to want me to (win) really bad," Lewis said. "When I get in big events, I want it so bad and I just have to stay patient (tomorrow)."
I.K. Kim tied the low round of the day with a 7-under 64 to join world No. 1 Inbee Park (65), Pornanong Phatlum (65) and Ji Young Oh (66) in fifth place at 8-under.
First-round leader Mika Miyazato managed just a 1-under 70 during her second round to hold a share of ninth place at Lydia Ko (66) at minus-7.
Recari was the first of the co-leaders to head out on the course and quickly raced up the leaderboard with four birdies over her first seven holes, moving her to 8-under.
After parring four straight from the eighth, she picked up a couple more shots at the 12th and 14th to reach 10-under and closed with four straight pars to remain there.
"I started really low very early in the round, so that helped me keeping that momentum and felt really great. I made sure that I position the ball at the right spot and made some putts. And still I left some out there. So overall I feel really good about tomorrow," stated Recari.
Lewis was the next out and started on the back nine.
The local favorite reeled off four straight birdies from the 14th before a bogey at the 18th halted her momentum and dropped her to 7-under at the turn.
She quickly bounced back with birdies at Nos. 2, 3 and 4. She briefly moved ahead of Recari with another gain at the eighth, but closed with a bogey at the last to fall back into a tie for the lead.
Arimura, meanwhile, started her bogey-free round with an outward 33 that included birdies at the second, fifth and ninth.
She added another birdie at the 11th and after parring her next five holes, she ended her day with back-to-back birdies at the 17th and 18th to claim a share of the lead.
Ryu went out with the afternoon wave and rolled in a pair of birdies at the 11th and 12th before picking up another shot at the 16th to make the turn at 8-under.
She moved to 10-under with birdies at the first and third, but tripped to a bogey at the sixth to fall a shot off the pace.
However, Ryu bounced right back with a birdie at the seventh to reclaim a portion of the lead and parred her final two holes to hold there.
"I haven't won for a while, it's kind of a drought," said Ryu. "I'm pretty sure it's time to win."
Miyazato had earlier grabbed a share of the lead with four birdies over her first five holes, but she would later record three bogeys over a four-hole span from the second to drop three strokes off the pace.
NOTES: Lewis won this event in 2007 as an amateur when it was shortened to just 18 holes due to rain, but the win was unofficial. She will seek her eighth career win and third this season on Sunday ... Recari and Ryu are trying for third win, while Arimura will seek her first ... The cut line was set at even-par 142, with 74 players advancing to the final round.