VANCOUVER – Megan Khang had five straight birdies in a back-nine burst and shot a 6-under 66 on Friday to take a one-stroke lead in the CPKC Women’s Open at challenging Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club.
After playing the first 10 holes in 1 under, Khang birdied five straight on Nos. 11-15. She closed the bogey-free morning round with three pars, leaving her at 7-under 137 on the tree-lined _ and mosquito-ladden _ layout.
“Honestly, this golf course I feel like you can’t really get too comfortable,” Khang said. “These fairways are tight and the greens are fast and firm, so I’m not taking anything for granted.”
Linn Grant of Sweden was second after a 71.
First-round leader Yuka Saso of Japan followed her opening 66 with a 73 to drop into a tie for third at 5 under with 2019 winner Jin Young Ko of South Korea. The fourth-ranked Ko had a 70.
While winless on the LPGA Tour, Khang has 33 top-10 finishes and career earnings over $5 million. The 25-year-old American is No. 27 in the world.
“Definitely birdies are out there,” Khang said. “Again, just try to stay patient. There will be times where if you happen to miss the fairway you’re just going to have to punch out, and that’s OK. Just as long as you stay level-headed out there”
Grant won the Dana Open in July in Ohio for her first LPGA Tour title.
“Still a tricky course,” Grant said. “Still some good golf, but not quite there.”
Ko won in 2019 at Magna outside Toronto. She has 15 LPGA Tour victories.
“I hit a lot of good shots today,” Ko said. “I hit 17 greens out of 18 greens. I did some miss putts, but was OK.
Second-ranked Nelly Korda was 4 under after her second 70.
“It’s very crucial to hit it well out here,” Korda said. “At the end of the day, you got to make putts.”
Canadian star Brooke Henderson rebounded from an opening 75 with a bogey-free 68 to get to 1 under. The 2018 winner at Wascana in Saskatchewan is wearing glasses in competition for the first time.
“Feels really good to get back under par,” Henderson said. “Feel like I fought really hard to get back under par. … Yesterday was not good, so coming out early this morning just wanted to get off to a good start, and birdieing the 11th hole _ my second hole of the day _ gave me the right momentum.”
Rose Zhang had a 75 to fall to even par. The 20-year-old Zhang won the Mizuho Americas Open in June at Liberty National in her first professional start.
Top-ranked Lilia Vu also was even par after a second 72.
Three-time winner Lydia Ko was 2 over after a 74. She won at Vancouver Golf Club in 2012 and 2015.
Lexi Thompson missed the cut with rounds of 76 and 80. She’s No. 157 in the Race to CME Globe and in danger of losing her LPGA card without having to use a one-time career money exemption.