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LPGA Tour: Emily Kristine Pedersen takes two-shot lead at The ANNIKA over Minami Katsu after second round

Denmark's Emily Kristine Pedersen carded 12-under-par 65 to take the solo lead over Japan's Minami Katsu at The ANNIKA Driven By Gainbridge At Pelican; coverage continues on Sky Sports Golf from 7pm on Saturday

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Highlights from the second round of The ANNIKA driven by Gainbridge at Pelican Golf Club from the LPGA Tour

Emily Kristine Pedersen's stunning start to her second round led to a five-under 65, which gave her the lead at The ANNIKA Driven By Gainbridge At Pelican after two rounds.

Pedersen's 12-under 128 broke the tournament's 36-hole scoring record by one shot. She was one off the pace to start the day but now sits two strokes ahead of Japan's Minami Katsu, who posted a 67. Thailand's Jasmine Suwannapura shot 65 and moved into third at nine-under on Friday.

She began her round with consecutive birdies to open the back nine. She rolled in three more at Nos. 14, 16 and 18 for a five-under 30.

The Dane might have moved even further ahead, but each of her three birdies on the front nine was erased by a bogey soon after. A bogey four at the par-three ninth held her at five-under for the day.

"Holed some good putts. I think the greens were so pure in this morning. Not that they weren't this afternoon, but I had a few good rolls to start with," Pedersen said.

"Then I think it got a little bit more windy out there and my back nine was not as I hoped. I hit a few uncommitted golf shots that I'm a little bit mad at myself about. I mean, that happens. Hopefully I can commit a bit more tomorrow and keep it going on the whole round."

Pedersen has won five times on the Ladies European Tour but is searching for her first victory in the United States. The 27-year-old is also vying for a spot in next week's season-ending CME Group Tour Championship.

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Emily Kristine Pedersen
Image: Emily Kristine Pedersen carded 12-under-par 65 to take the solo lead at The ANNIKA Driven By Gainbridge At Pelican

The top 60 players in the standings after this tournament will qualify; Pedersen started the week at No. 80 but would vault into the top 60 with a win.

"I'm just trying to focus on putting together a good day, a good hole, good shot every day. So many times I've looked ahead and it's not gone well, so I'm trying to do something different," she continued.

Katsu (No. 78 in the Race to the CME Globe) was tied for second with Pedersen at seven-under 63 entering the day. She carded five birdies and two bogeys on Friday.

"I felt like there was a bit of wind today so I was kind of telling myself, wind is going to be my friend for today," Katsu said.

Jasmine Suwannapura of Thailand lines up a putt on the 18th hole during the second round of the LPGA Maybank Championship in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Friday, Oct. 27, 2023. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
Image: Jasmine Suwannapura is third going into the weekend's action at Pelican Golf Club in Belleair

Suwannapura holed eight birdies on Friday to counteract three bogeys, improving on her Thursday score by one. The two-time LPGA winner stood 49th in the CME standings entering the week.

"I think my game has been getting better every week since June. I don't know. I make tons of cuts and it gets more consistently," Suwannapura said

"Get more comfortable with my game and I see the positive in my game, and it's just keep playing and have fun with my caddie out there."

World No 4 Jin Young Ko of South Korea had a 69 on Friday and is tied for fourth at eight-under with USA's Lindy Duncan (65), France's Perrine Delacour (65), Wichanee Meechai of Thailand (66), Gaby Lopez of Mexico (67) and Muni He of China (67).

Two-time defending champion Nelly Korda is at five-under after a 68. Canada's Brooke Henderson, who fired a 62 on Thursday to take the lead, plummeted to three-under thanks to a 75 that included four bogeys and two double bogeys. Notables to miss the cut at one-under par included Stacy Lewis and Celine Boutier of France, both at even par.

Coverage of The ANNIKA Driven By Gainbridge At Pelican continues live on Sky Sports Golf from 7pm on Saturday. Stream the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour and more with NOW.

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