Miyazato, Stanford share Canadian Open lead

Ai Miyazato of Japan hits out of the bunker on the 12th hole during the second round at the...

Ai Miyazato of Japan hits out of the bunker on the 12th hole during the second round at the Canadian Women's Open golf tournament in Mirabel, Quebec August 26, 2011. (REUTERS/Christinne Muschi)

Jon McCarthy, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:26 PM ET

MIRABEL, Que. -- Soft, receptive greens courtesy of early-week rain have turned the CN Canadian Women's Open into a $2.25-million putting contest.

There are birdie opportunities galore for players at Hillsdale Golf and Country Club outside Montreal this week.

Round 1 co-leader Ai Miyazato is now the round-two co-leader thanks to a four-under par 68 on Friday.

The smooth-swinging Japanese star teed off in the morning and caught fire in the early afternoon birdieing three of her final five holes to take the clubhouse lead.

"I played really good," Miyazato said. "I feel like I holed a lot of putts today."

After sharing the lead for two days, Miyazato is careful not to get ahead of herself.

"I'm just finishing the second round today, and I still have two more days and so many good players," she said. "You never know what's going to happen this weekend."

Also holing plenty of putts was co-leader Angela Stanford, who said after Round 1 she was happy her putter "decided to show up" Thursday.

Well, it showed up again on Friday.

Stanford made every putt she looked at on the back nine, shooting a 31 en route to a second-round 66.

"Yeah, I feel good about my putter," she said after her round. "Any time you feel good about your putter, it's probably better than feeling good about anything else."

Stanford, like Miyazato, knows there's lots of golf left to be played said her hot and heavy relationship with her putter could end at any time.

"It's still to be determined because I have two more days," Stanford said. "So, I can't fall in love with him just yet. We're on speaking terms though, so it's good."

South Korean Song-Hee Kim followed up her first round 67 with a second-round 68 to jump into solo third place at nine-under par.

One shot behind Kim is where the logjam begins.

There are eight players lurking at eight-under par including Michelle Wie, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome and first-round co-leader Pernilla Lindberg.

Defending champ Wie shot a three-under 69. After making two putts outside of 40 feet on Thursday, Wie said she needs to get the putter magic back on the weekend.

"I left a lot of putts out there," she said. "I had a good back nine but I have to make those putts tomorrow."

Paula Creamer, another fan favourite, says with the scoring conditions for the first two rounds it was imperative to shoot four or five under. She expects it won't be as easy on the weekend.

"I'm sure the pin placements are going to be tougher because there are so many birdies being made," Creamer said.

As for Canadian content during the weekend telecasts, fans will have a pretty good selection.

Six of the 17 Canadians in the field made the cut which came at one-under par.

Samantha Richdale is the low Canadian at five-under par, despite shooting one-over par on Friday.

The Kelowna, B.C., native hopes to bounce back on the weekend.

"I definitely want to move up," Richdale said. "I'm trying to make it into some LPGA events later this year where I have to move up on the money list, so I'm looking forward to playing some good golf on the weekend."

Charlottetown's Lorie Kane matched her one-under score from Thursday shooting a second-round 71 to head to the weekend at two-under par. Kane will be paired with world No. 1 Yani Tseng when she tees of at 10 a.m. Saturday morning.

Other Canadians making the cut were Lisa Meldrum, Maude-Aimee Leblanc, Danielle Mills and amateur Jisoo Keel.


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