Guadalajara, Mexico (SportsNetwork.com) - Anna Nordqvist and So Yeon Ryu both birdied the 18th hole on Friday to join Pornanong Phatlum atop the leaderboard after two rounds of the Lorena Ochoa Invitational.
Nordqvist and Ryu, who were paired together in the penultimate group, both fired 5-under 67s in round two. Phatlum, the first-round leader, carded a 3- under 69 and the three ended 36 holes at 9-under-par 135 at Guadalajara Country Club.
Women's world No. 1 Inbee Park, who shared second at this event last year, shot 4-under 68 on Friday. She was joined in fourth place at minus-8 by Lexi Thompson (64) and Gerina Piller (65).
Lizette Salas (67) and 2010 champion I.K. Kim (67) are tied for seventh place at 7-under-par 137.
Suzann Pettersen, the 2010 runner-up, and Karine Icher both shot 68 in round two. They share ninth with Stacy Lewis (66) and Jenny Shin (69).
Nordqvist, the 2009 LPGA Champion, birdied the first, but gave that shot right back as she bogeyed the third. After three pars in a row, she birdied the seventh en route to making the turn at minus-5.
The Swede converted back-to back birdie efforts at 11 and 12. A birdied on the 15th briefly gave Nordqvist a share of the lead. After Phatlum moved to minus-9, Nordqvist joined her there with a birdie on the par-5 18th.
"I mean you know, it's just a fun atmosphere and we played with Jenny Shin today and she was solid pretty much the whole round," Nordqvist stated. "You know you just try to keep up and you know feed off of each other and give yourself a lot of chances for birdies."
Ryu started with four pars in a row before she stumbled to a bogey on the par-4 fifth. She erased that mistake with a birdie at the seventh.
The 2011 U.S. Women's Open champion birdied the 10th and made it two in a row with a birdie on No. 11. Ryu flew into a share of the lead as she birdied three of the last five holes.
Phatlum ran off five consecutive pars to open her round. She made birdie efforts at six and seven, but tripped to a bogey on the eighth. The 23-year- old birdied the ninth to make the turn with the lead at 8-under.
This year's Mobile Bay runner-up started the back nine with six consecutive pars. Five players had caught Phatlum at minus-8, but she birdied the 16th to briefly lead by herself. As she parred the last two holes, Nordqvist and Ryu joined her atop the leaderboard.
"Today, I'm very happy with my score, but the putting was not very good today. I just missed a few short putts," Phatlum admitted.
NOTES: Defending champion Cristie Kerr fired a 5-under 67 to get back to even- par for the championship, which left her alone in 27th place ... All five former champions are in the field this week. Along with Kim and Kerr, 2009 winner Michelle Wie is tied for 20th, 2011 champ Catriona Matthew is alone in 28th and 2008 titlist Angela Stanford shares 32nd place.