Recari, Creamer, Walshe share LPGA lead
Spain's Beatriz Recari fired a six-under par 65 Friday to match Paula Creamer and Alison Walshe for the lead at the LPGA Marathon Classic, with Park In-Bee lurking two shots back.
Recari fired six birdies, two bogeys and an eagle to stand alongside the US duo at eight-under 134 after 36 holes in the $1.3 million tournament, one stroke ahead of American Jacqui Concolino.
South Korea's Park, who has won the first three majors of the women's golf season and will continue her Grand Slam bid in two weeks at the Women's British Open, fired a 69 to share fifth on 136.
Alongside world number one Park were Japan's Chie Arimura and New Zealand amateur Lydia Ko, the 16-year-old world amateur number one.
Creamer has won nine LPGA titles, but none since taking her only major crown at the 2010 US Women's Open.
Recari won her only tour titles at the 2010 LPGA Challenge and this year's Kia Classic. Walshe's best LPGA showing was a share of eighth at last year's Kraft Nabisco Championship.
Recari closed a run of three birdies in four holes at the par-3 sixth, then followed a bogey-bogey start to the back nine with back-to-back birdies and charged to the top with an eagle at the par-4 15th and a birdie at the 16th.
"I was a little bit upset about that bogey-bogey, because especially on 11, I hit a great 6?iron that was just past the pin, past the green. I was just on the fringe but it was lightning fast and it went by and I didn't make it.
"I was determined to get it back and I did. It was a good recovery. I was pleased that it went that way."
Her birdie came with an 8-iron from 150 yards.
"I saw it land and I knew it was going to be a good shot," she said. "I didn't know it was going to go in."
Creamer, who fired a 68, opened with back-to-back birdies, added another at the par-5 seventh and answered her lone bogey at 11 with a birdie at the 15th.
"I feel great. I feel confident. Hitting the ball well," Creamer said.
"Gave myself tons of opportunities. Started off well but didn't hit many good shots the first couple holes. Just kind of grinded through it. Just trying to stick to my game plan and see what happens."
Walshe opened and closed the front nine with bogeys, sandwiched around birdies at the fourth and fifth holes, and birdied the 12th and par-5 18th to fire a 69.
Park opened with a bogey and twice followed birdies with bogeys on the next hole before closing the round with back-to-back birdies.
"I didn't have a really good start but I really played well the rest of the day," Park said. "It was a tough day. Just grinded for pars. The last two birdies felt like heaven.
"I'm putting really good this week so that's really a good positive to take on. Still working a little bit on my swing. I see progress a little bit, so on the weekend hopefully I hit it a little bit better."
Park is putting her focus on trying to win her seventh title of the season with a nod to preparing for the next major next month at St. Andrews.
"I don't really think about St. Andrews when I'm playing this tournament," she said. "I'm just trying to tune my game up a little bit so I'm ready for going to the British. I'm just trying to get myself ready."