Pressel’s 64 ties for Kia lead

Morgan Pressel carded a bogey-free 8-under-par 64 that equaled the course record and tied Mirim Lee of South Korea for the lead after two rounds of the Kia Classic at Park Hyatt Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad.

The 26-year-old Pressel, who has not won since recording her second LPGA Tour victory in the 2008 Kapalua LPGA Classic, started on No. 10 and collected four birdies on each nine, including five in a span of six holes through No. 4.

“It definitely was stress-free golf,” said Pressel, who also won the 2007 Kraft Nabisco Championship. “I hit almost every fairway and, I think, 16 or 17 greens. It’s been a while since I was confident that I could hit the ball where I wanted it to go.

“These greens can be difficult, but I had a chance for birdie on almost every hole. I made a couple of long ones early and that’s almost like stealing. I hit it close and had a lot of opportunities, and I made some. I don’t think I had a par putt of over two feet.”

Lee, the first-round leader with a 65, followed that up with a 69 despite making four bogeys.

Alison Lee of Valencia and UCLA, in her fourth LPGA Tour event, posted a bogey-free 67 that included four straight birdies through No. 9 while shooting 66 and was one shot back in a tie for third with Cristie Kerr, who had 68.

Maria Hernandez of Spain, the 2009 NCAA individual champion for Purdue, birdied her last hole in a bogey-free 66 that put her two strokes behind in a tie for fifth with Brittany Lang, who shot 68, Sakura Yokomine of Japan, who totaled 67, and Hyu Joo Kim of South Korea, who came in at 68.

Top-ranked Lydia Ko of New Zealand carded a 70 and was three shots behind in a tie for ninth with third-ranked Stacy Lewis, who wound up at 69, and Alison Walshe, who finished at 67.

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