Through 36 holes at the 2022 U.S. Women’s Open presented by ProMedica, two players at very different points in their careers sit tied at the top of the major leaderboard.
American Mina Harigae backed up her first-round 64 with a 2-under 69 in Friday’s second round. Harigae, winless in 255 career LPGA Tour starts, carded five birdies and three bogeys and, for the second time in her 13-year career, finds herself in a prime major position heading in the weekend.
“Since it was the morning, fairways were a little softer, greens were a little softer, so my drives weren’t going as far and I had a little longer clubs in,” said Harigae, who held the lead after 36 holes at the 2021 AIG Women’s Open. “The golf ball was able to hold better too, so it was alright out there.”
Seven-time LPGA Tour winner Minjee Lee joins Harigae in a tie for first after a 5-under 66 on Friday. Lee, the 2021 Amundi Evian Championship winner, is aiming to become the third U.S. Women’s Open champion from Australia, joining 1983 winner Jan Stephenson and two-time champion Karrie Webb, who won at Pine Needles in 2001.
“The golf course can really catch up to you quickly, so just trying to take whatever I have in front of me,” said Lee, who won two weeks ago at the Cognizant Founders Cup. “Whenever I have a birdie opportunity, I try to take advantage of that.”
2022 LPGA Tour rookie Hye-Jin Choi, who finished second at the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open as a 17-year-old amateur, shot Friday’s round of the day. Her 7-under 64, one stroke off the championship scoring record, vaulted her up the leaderboard into a tie for second alongside three-time major champion Anna Nordqvist at -7. “I think that this U.S. Women’s Open fits me quite well and I think the course is excellent,” said Choi, a three-time KLPGA Tour Player of the Year before she joined the LPGA Tour in 2022. “I had high expectations when I came here.”
Rolex Rankings No. 1 Jin Young Ko pulled into contention with a 13-foot eagle putt at No. 15, moving to -6 overall and is in a tie for fifth with Swedish amateur Ingrid Lindblad. “I had a great 3-wood to 20 meters from the second shot and I was aiming to the right of the TV tower,” said Ko of her eagle. “Ball goes straight there and I got eagle.”
2014 U.S. Women’s Open winner Michelle Wie West wrapped up her full-time LPGA Tour career with a 3-over 74, missing the cut at +5 overall. Defending champion Yuka Saso (+9) and three-time champion Annika Sorenstam (+13) also missed the cut.