Pittsford, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Brittany Lincicome carded a 4-under 68 on Friday and moved three strokes clear of the field after two rounds of the LPGA Championship.
Lincicome, the 2009 Kraft Nabisco champion, ended 36 holes at 9-under-par 135. The last of her five tour wins came at the 2011 Canadian Women's Open.
Lexi Thompson, who shared the first-round lead with Meena Lee, managed an even-par 72. This year's reigning Kraft Nabisco champion shares second place at 6-under 138 with defending champion Inbee Park, who fired a 6-under 66 in round two.
Lydia Ko (69), Jane Park (69) and Lee (73) are tied for fourth place at minus-5 at Monroe Golf Club.
Suzann Pettersen, the 2007 champion, carded a 3-under 69 and was joined in seventh place at 4-under 140 by 2012 winner Shanshan Feng (72), Mirim Lee (71), Julieta Granada (65), Beatriz Recari (70) and Jennifer Johnson (70).
Lincicome stumbled out of the gate with a bogey at the first. After three pars in a row, she atoned for that mistake with a birdie at the par-4 fifth. She parred three more before making birdie at the par-5 ninth to make the turn at minus-6.
She was tied for the lead at that point. Using her length off the tee to her advantage, Lincicome birdied the par-5 12th to grab the lead. At the par-5 14th, she made eagle to jump to minus-9, where she was two clear of Thompson, who birdied the 11th to get to 7-under.
Lincicome closed with four consecutive pars to end at minus-9.
"It feels really nice. I feel like all year I've been doing a lot of good things, hitting well, putting well, chipping well, they just don't seem to all come together on the same day," Lincicome stated. "So it was nice to play the last two days and just kind of seeing like I was out there doing my thing and there was not too much stress involved. Even when I had a chip shot that looked really bad, somehow I got it up-and-down and kept going."
Early on, Thompson moved in front with a birdie on the third. However, she gave that stroke back when she bogeyed the par-3 sixth.
After four pars in a row from the seventh, Thompson birdied the 11th. She birdied the 14th to inch within one of the lead. However, Thompson closed with back-to-back bogeys to slide three behind Lincicome.
"Today was a little more difficult than yesterday. Just didn't hit it as well, but I did make a lot of good putts today, so I'm going to take a positive out of it and go to the range for a little bit after and prepare for the weekend," Thompson said.
Inbee Park started her round on the 10th tee and collected her first birdie on the 11th. Like Lincicome, Park made eagle at 14. Park followed with a birdie at 15 to move to 4-under.
The reigning champion faltered to a bogey on the 17th. Park recovered that stroke when she birdied the first. She jumped into a tie for second place with back-to-back birdies at three and four.
Park ended her round with five straight pars from the fifth.
"It was a great day today. Quite different from yesterday, where nothing really wanted to drop for me," said Park. "I chipped in and I holed a bunker shot, I never had those kind of rounds before. So it was a really good round. I feel like I rolled the balls a little bit better on the greens as well."
NOTES: Lincicome's best finish at this event was a tie for sixth in 2007 ... She has the 36-hole lead for the first time in a major ... Belen Mozo withdrew during the round with a sore back ... The cut line fell at 2-over-par 146 with 73 players moving on to the weekend ... Among those that missed the cut were Pat Hurst, Christina Kim, Morgan Pressel, Ai Miyazato, Sophie Gustafson and Paula Creamer, who missed the cut in a major for the first time as a professional ... Creamer went without her regular caddie, who was hospitalized due to back spasms, in round two.