SOUTH PORT, England – Yani Tseng posted her second consecutive round of four-under 68 on Friday to take sole possession of the second-round lead of the Women's British Open.
Tseng, a first-round co-leader, finished 36 holes at eight-under 136 at a rainy Royal Birkdale and is four clear of several players tied for second place.
Reigning LPGA Champion and former world No. 1 Cristie Kerr carded a five-under 67 and is tied for second place with Amy Yang and Brittany Lincicome, who both had 71s on Friday. The trio is knotted in second place at four-under-par 140.
Hall of Famer Juli Inkster (70), Suzann Pettersen (68) and Sun Young Yoo (72) are knotted in fifth place at minus-three.
Alena Sharp of Hamilton was the only Canadian to make the cut after she posted a one-under par 71 Friday. Sharp is in a tie for 49th place after opening the tournament with a five-over 77.
Lisa Meldrum of Montreal shot 79 after opening with a 76 and missed the cut.
The leader was fortunate with her tee time on Friday.
Tseng played in the morning right before heavy rain deluged Birkdale.
"It was really lucky. It is raining right now, and this morning there was like no wind, very calm," Tseng said after her round Friday. "And the course is totally different than what we played yesterday. So it was just really nice."
Tseng broke into red figures at the second after she hit an eight-iron to 15 feet. She cashed in on that birdie opportunity, but dropped a shot at the very next hole when she couldn't get up and down from a left greenside bunker.
At the par-five sixth, Tseng ran a three-wood second shot up to the green and narrowly missed a long eagle try. She tapped in for birdie and was five-under for the championship.
After seven consecutive pars around the turn, Tseng hit a six-iron to eight feet to set up birdie at the par-three 14th. She appeared to be in serious trouble at the par-five 15th, but somehow escaped with a par.
She hit an awkward drive then hit a terrible second shot into bushes and hit a provisional. Tseng found her second and somehow lashed it out on to the putting surface. She missed her long birdie try, but tapped in for a highly unlikely par.
"I'm very appreciative," said Tseng of her par.
Tseng found the fairway off the tee at 16 and hit a pitching-wedge 30 feet from the flagstick. She drained the long birdie effort and was seven-under and three strokes clear.
Tseng reached the par-five 17th green with a four-iron and missed her 35-foot eagle putt. She tapped in for birdie to go to minus-eight, then missed a 25- foot birdie chance at the last.
"I feel really confident and actually I never had a lead in a major, so this week I have to stay on top all week and stay very patient this week," said Tseng.
Tseng may have never led during a major, but she has led after two of them. She won the 2008 LPGA Championship and this year's Kraft Nabisco Championship. At 21, Tseng is halfway to the career Slam and with a win on Sunday, she would only need the U.S. Women's Open to complete the Slam.
First-round co-leader Katherine Hull (74) and world No. 1 Jiyai Shin headline a group tied for eighth place at minus-two. Christina Kim (68), Momoko Ueda (70), Hee Kyung Seo (69), M.J. Hur (68), In-Kyung Kim (72) and Anne-Lise Caudal (72) also finished six back of Tseng.
U.S. Women's Open champion Paula Creamer lashed a ball out of the rough on 17 and dropped her club. She winced in pain as her thumb and wrist injury flared up, but she finished with a two-over 74 and is tied for 49th at plus-four.
"That's kind of part of this whole process, that there's going to be shots unfortunately I hit in a very bad spot, and the only thing that goes through your mind is oh, my goodness, this is going to hurt," said Creamer.
NOTES: Defending champion Catriona Matthew won't make it two in a row. She shot a nine-over 81 on Friday and missed the cut by seven strokes...The 36- hole cut fell at five-over 149...Kerr also needs this event to get three of the four majors. The only one she'd be missing would be the Kraft Nabisco Championship...Teresa Lu and Soo-Yun Kang both withdrew on Friday.