Clanton seizes lead at LPGA Founders Cup


Los Angeles (AFP)

Cydney Clanton holed out for eagle from the fairway at 13 and rolled in a birdie at the last to seize the second-round lead at the LPGA Founders Cup in Arizona on Friday.

Clanton shook off an early bogey and fired four birdies along with her eagle in a five-under par 67.

"I played really good and made some clutch putts coming in," Clanton said. "The hole out was pretty special, any time you don?t have to putt is nice."

Her nine-under par total of 135 put her one stroke in front of a quartet of players that included overnight co-leader Karine Icher of France, Colombia's Mariajo Uribe, Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn and American Marina Alex.

Clanton, seeking her first win on the LPGA Tour, was even through the first nine holes with one bogey and one birdie.

After a birdie at the par-five 11th, she posted an eagle two at the par-four 13th, where her wedge into the green took one bounce and found the cup. She added another birdie at 15 and took sole possession of the lead with her birdie at the last.

"It has been a while since I've been in the lead, so (on Saturday I'm) just going to take it one shot at a time, one hole at a time," Clanton said.

Clanton, a rookie in 2012, has four career top 10 finishes, but no wins.

Icher, who shared the first-round lead with South Korea's Chella Choi, had four birdies and a bogey in her three-under 69. Alex climbed the leaderboard with a bogey-free six-under 66 while Uribe and Ariya both posted 68s.

"I actually didn't hit it that well today, maybe I had some luck," Ariya said. "I still had so much fun out there and I?m working on my commitment."

It was a further stroke back to Americans Mo Martin and Jessica Korda on 137.

On a day when more benign conditions led to lower scores, Choi was unable to build on her first-round 67, her even-par 72 leaving her tied for 13th, four shots off the lead.

Former world number one Lydia Ko of New Zealand endured another tough day, following up her first-round 74 with a one-over 73 that left her well outside the projected cut line of one-under par.