Kim leads by one in South Korea

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, Last Updated: 10:26 AM ET

INCHEON, South Korea -- Song-Hee Kim posted her second straight four-under 68 Saturday to take a one-stroke lead after two rounds of the Hana Bank Championship.

Kim completed 36 holes at eight-under-par 136. Winless on the LPGA Tour, Kim has finished inside the top 10 in 20 of her last 26 starts.

Na Yeon Choi, the defending champion, also shot 68 and is alone in second place at minus-seven. Vicky Hurst, who shared the first-round lead with Kim, managed a two-under 70 to slide into third place at six-under-par 138.

Juli Inkster, who nearly became the oldest ever winner on the LPGA Tour last week, stands alone in fourth place at minus-five after carding a 68 Saturday.

World No. 1 Cristie Kerr shot 71 for the second straight day and is tied for 13th at minus-two on the Ocean Course at Sky 72 Golf Club.

Choi dropped in back-to-back birdies at three and four to move into the early lead at minus-five. Kim responded with four consecutive birdies from the fourth.

That run moved Kim into the lead at eight-under. She carded three straight pars around the turn before dropping a shot on the par-four 11th.

Kim erased that mistake with a birdie on the 14th. She tripped to another bogey at the 17th, but birdied the par-five closing hole to finish one clear of Choi.

"I played really well in the early part of the round, but I struggled with my shots in the last part of the round," Kim admitted. "I managed to overcome some bad putting. I think I can play well tomorrow if I play the way I played today."

After her early birdies, Choi faltered to a bogey on the sixth. She bounced back her second birdie in two days on No. 7.

Choi dropped in back-to-back birdie efforts from the 11th to move to seven- under. She bogeyed the 16th for the second straight round, but came back with a birdie on 17 to end at minus-seven.

"I have confidence right now, and I have a good feeling about my game. I felt that I lost focus on the last couple holes," Choi stated. "I don't care about results. I'll do my best tomorrow."

With Kim and Choi in the final group Sunday, it will be a battle of best friends.

"I have never played with Na Yeon in the last round of any event," Kim said. "Since we are best friends, it's going be like playing in the practice round. So I will have fun on the course with my best friend."

Suzann Pettersen, the 2007 champion and world No. 4, shot three-under 69 to move to four-under-par 140. She was joined there by Hee-Won Han (69), Mika Miyazato (70), Inbee Park (67), Amanda Blumenherst (70) and So Yeon Ryu (70).

World No. 2 Jiyai Shin rallied with a four-under 68 to move into a share of 11th place at minus-three.

NOTES: Kim grew up about an hour away from the course in Seoul...The LPGA Tour is in Asia for the second week of a three-event swing...Last week's winner Jimin Kang struggled to a three-over 75 in round two to slide into a tie for 35th at plus-one.


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