Rookie Kim leads at Mission Hills

Rookie Sei Young Kim of South Korea posted a 7-under-par 65 to take a two-stroke lead over Morgan Pressel after two rounds of the ANA Inspiration on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage.

The 22-year-old Kim, who claimed her first LPGA Tour victory earlier this year in the Pure Silk Bahamas Classic after winning six times in Korea, sank a six-foot eagle on the final hole and also had six birdies, with her only bogey coming on the 16th hole.

“Her feel wasn’t so hot yesterday,” said Paul Fusco, Kim’s caddie. “That happens. And then today, she came out and just found the feel and just went with it, and played within herself and made it look easy.”

Pressel, who led after an opening 67, started on the back nine and birdied the 14th hole to take a three-stroke lead, but made her first bogey of the tournament on the next hole and needed two birdies on the front to shoot 72.

Brittany Lincicome birdied three of the last six holes to card a 68 and was three shots back in a tie for third with Jenny Shin of South Korea and Catriona Matthew of Scotland, who both had 69s.

Defending champion Lexi Thompson made her only bogey when she hit her approach shot into the water on the final hole and finished with a 69 to wind up four shots behind in a tie for sixth with Stacy Lewis (69), Angela Stanford (69), Moriya Jutanugarn (70) of Thailand, Mirim Lee (70) of South Korea, Shanshan Feng (70) of China and So Yeon Ryu (72) of South Korea.

Top-ranked Lydia Ko shot 73, ending her streak of 29 consecutive sub-par rounds on the LPGA Tour, which tied the record set by Annika Sorenstam in 2004. Ko was seven strokes behind in a tie for 30th.

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