Waterloo, ON – Catriona Matthew fired a 7-under 64 on Friday to grab a 3-stroke lead after two rounds of the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic.
Matthew finished 36 holes at 15-under-par 127 at Grey Silo Golf Course. She smashed the 1-year-old tournament record that Inbee Park set last year. That old record was 133.
Angela Stanford, who shared the first-round lead with Matthew, posted a 4- under 67 and is alone in second at minus-12.
Anna Nordqvist matched Matthew's 64 and that helped Nordqvist jump into a share of third at 11-under-par 131. She was joined there by Meena Lee and Belen Mozo, who both carded 66s on Friday, as well as Chella Choi and Ryann O'Toole, who both posted 65s in round two.
Park managed a 4-under 67 to move into a share of eighth place at minus-10. She stands alongside Suzann Pettersen (64), Hee Young Park (67) and Austin Ernst (64).
Inbee Park, who turned 25 on Friday, has won the tour's last three events, and she has won the season's first three majors as well. Two of them have come in the last three tournaments.
Stanford played in the morning so Matthew trailed by four when she started her round. Matthew started with four pars in a row before making a 25-foot eagle putt at the par-5 fifth.
"I played really well again, you know, gave myself a lot of chances. Good chances at one, three and four that I missed by 10 feet and holed a good eagle putt on five. I mean, it feels really good. I've holed a lot of putts," Matthew stated. "I've given myself a lot of chances, so I wouldn't say I've really holed many super long ones, but every time I give myself a chance, I'm kind of taking advantage of it."
Matthew came right back with birdies at six and eight to move to 12-under, where she shared the lead with Stanford.
Around the turn, Matthew moved one clear with a birdie on the 11th. She closed her round in style as she birdied the 16th and 18th to move ahead by three.
"I would say first time here, obviously suits my eye a little bit, maybe just got the speed of the greens. I think that's the important thing," admitted Matthew. "When you're holing putts, it all seems quite easy."
Stanford opened her round with a birdie at the first. She parred four in a row before birdies at six and eight moved her to minus-11.
The five-time LPGA Tour winner got to 12-under with a birdie on the 11th. Stanford gave that stroke back as she stumbled to a bogey at the 15th, but she atoned for that error with a birdie at the 16th.
"Ball striking for sure, giving myself some chances. And actually the putts have finally found the bottom of the hole. But I think just my confidence comes from how I hit the ball, and I've been hitting it really well this week and I know what's going on in my golf swing and swing thoughts are good," said Stanford. "So any time I'm feeling this way, I can't wait to try to make the putts."
NOTES: Matthew's total of 127 was her personal best by five strokes as she had carded 132 twice before for her previous best 36-hole score on the LPGA ... Last year's champion Brittany Lang missed the cut by one stroke ... Seventy- three players made the cut, which fell at 3-under-par 139 ... Among the others that failed to make it to the weekend were Lexi Thompson, Mika Miyazato, Jeong Jang, Karen Stupples and Yani Tseng.