Rancho Mirage, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Sei Young Kim fired the low round of the week, a 7-under 65, in Friday's second round and that gave her a 2-shot lead heading into the weekend at the first major championship of the season, the ANA Inspiration.
World No. 1 Lydia Ko, who's 1-under 71 Thursday tied her with Annika Sorenstam for the most consecutive rounds under par with 29, saw that streak come to an end as she shot a second-round, 1-over 73 on the Dinah Shore Tournament course at Mission Hills Country Club.
"It was really cool. You're never counting at the end of the day," Ko admitted. "You just go out there trying to have fun, try to shoot the lowest you can. But now it's over and 29's not too bad."
Kim, who earned her first career victory on the LPGA Tour earlier this season at the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic, finished 36 holes at 7-under-par 137. Ko ended day two at even-par 144 and is seven shots back.
First-round leader Morgan Pressel carded an even-par 72, putting the 2007 champ two back and alone in second at minus-5. Brittany Lincicome (68), the 2009 winner of this event, is tied for third with Jenny Shin (69) and Catriona Matthew (69) at 4-under 140.
Defending champion Lexi Thompson (69) and 2011 winner Stacy Lewis headline a group of seven players tied for sixth at minus-3.
Kim, who opened with a 72 and was five shots back of the leader Pressel to start the day, jumped out to a great start on the front nine.
Two birdies in four holes at two and four got Kim into red numbers early. Following three straight pars from five, Kim made the turn in style with back- to-back gains on eight and nine.
Kim made it three gains in four holes as she drained a birdie on the par-5 11th, moving her to 5-under for her round and for the week. Kim traded a birdie on 15 for a bogey on 16 to remain there.
At the tough par-5 last hole, Kim was able to convert her eagle effort to pull her away from Pressel and move the South Korean two shots clear. While Kim was in the morning pairings, her clubhouse lead held up at the end of the day.
"I feel really great because I was 7-under today," said Kim. "I really good hit the ball, and putting really good, everything really good. I'm very happy."
Coming off her opening-round 67, Pressel began her day on the back nine and held firm at 5-under with four straight pars from 10. After trading a birdie on 14 for a bogey on 15, Pressel tripped to another bogey two holes later on 17.
Pressel got under par for the first time on the day with back-to-back gains on one and two, but she gave one of those shots back with her third bogey on three. From there Pressel coasted to the finish with six straight pars.
Ko's streak was in early jeopardy as she made two bogeys in her first five holes on three and five. The 17-year-old responded nicely by making a pair of birdies on six and seven.
After a bogey on eight, Ko appeared to take control by getting under par for the first time with birdies on nine and 11. However, those were the last birdies she made on the day.
An errant tee shot on 15 saw Ko make bogey, meaning she needed to play her final three holes at minus-1 to set the record.
Following pars on 16 and 17, Ko attempted to lay up with her second shot at the par-5 18th, but flew her ball too far and if found water. That resulted in another bogey and ended Ko's streak of under-par rounds at 29.
"Thought 6-iron would be OK even if it flew out of there, but obviously it wasn't the right club," Ko said about her second shot on 18. "It's obvious I would love to have a birdie opportunity, but when I'm putting for par, nothing gets easy."
NOTES: Kim has three top-10 finishes this year, including her one victory, in six events ... Pressel has two career victories on tour and has not won since 2008 ... Ko's last over-par round came in the final round of the Lorena Ochoa Invitational on Nov. 16, where she shot an even-par 72. She also shot a 2-over 74 in the third round of that event ... With the cut falling at 3-over 147, 73 players advanced to play the weekend.