Mexico City, Mexico (SportsNetwork.com) - Christina Kim fired a second-round, 3-under 69 on Friday and she was able to hang on and maintain her 1-shot lead heading into the weekend at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational.
Kim, who entered the day one shot ahead of Azahara Munoz, finished 36 holes at 10-under-par 134 at Club de Golf Mexico. Kim has not won on tour since taking home the Tournament of Champions title back in 2005.
Paula Creamer was the biggest threat to Kim on Friday as she held the lead by herself at one point. Creamer finished the day with a 7-under 65 and she is alone in second at 9-under 135.
Suzann Pettersen also had a strong day, shooting a 6-under 66 and jumping into a tie for third place with Pornanong Phatlum (68), 17-year-old LPGA Rookie of the Year Lydia Ko (69) and Munoz (71).
World No. 1 Inbee Park is alone in 10th at 4-under 140 after a 70 on Friday, while world No. 2 Stacy Lewis (70) is tied for 27th at 2-over 146. Defending champion Lexi Thompson (72) is eight shots back at minus-2 and she is tied for 14th with four others.
After going bogey free on day one, Kim tripped to a couple bogeys on Friday, but she was able to hold on to her lead. Kim started her day on fire, however, as she drained three birdies on her first four holes on one, two and four.
Following a pair of pars on five and six, Kim dropped two shots in three holes with bogeys on seven and nine, putting her at 8-under as she made the turn.
Kim was able to put her game in cruise control on the back nine. Following a trio of pars from 10, Kim made her fourth gain on the par-4 13th. Another pair of pars on 14 and 15 preceded Kim's fifth and final birdie of the day on 16, which broke a tie with Creamer atop the leaderboard. Kim finished up with two pars to remain in the lead after 36 holes.
"Yesterday I was lucky enough to have two eagles so that immediately made the score a lot better. And I had no bogeys yesterday," Kim said. "Today I had two bogeys. It's just difficult when you're in the lead and there's such a fantastic field and everyone's coming after you. It's been a while since I've been in this position. And just trying to get back into it. Just enjoying myself."
Creamer finished day one with a 2-under 70, but she made up for it with a very strong day on Friday. Creamer also began her day well with three birdies in her first four holes on one, three and four, getting her well into red numbers early.
Following three straight pars from five, Creamer rolled in her fourth gain on the par-4 eighth before closing out the front nine with a par on nine.
It was more of the same on the back side for Creamer. After another par on 10, Creamer made three more birdies in four holes on 11, 13 and 14. The birdie on 14 gave Creamer a lead at 9-under before Kim later made a gain on 13 to tie. Creamer ended her round strong with four straight pars to end one shot behind the leader after Kim's final birdie on 16.
"I just have a lot of confidence," Creamer said about her putting. "I'm really, my routine and what I do when I'm over the ball is the same every time. It's more about speed instead of thinking about my stroke or thinking about this. I know that it's solid and we've been working really hard on that. It's more of a confidence and seeing the ball go in the hole."
NOTES: Creamer finished runner-up to Michelle Wie at this event back in 2009 ... Creamer has one win this season at the HSBC Women's Champions ... Wie (69) is eight shots behind the leader Kim at 2-under 142 through two rounds ... After making eagles on two and 17 Thursday, Kim played those two holes at 1- under with one birdie Friday.