Golf: Henderson and Hedwall share 36-hole lead at LPGA Tour's Marathon Classic

Brooke Henderson of Canada watches her tee shot on the eighth hole during the second round of the LPGA Tour's Marathon Classic in Sylvania, Ohio, on July 13, 2018.
Brooke Henderson of Canada watches her tee shot on the eighth hole during the second round of the LPGA Tour's Marathon Classic in Sylvania, Ohio, on July 13, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

(REUTERS) - Canada's Brooke Henderson and Sweden's Caroline Hedwall closed their rounds with back-to-back birdies on Friday (July 13), and the pair shares a one-stroke lead after 36 holes at the LPGA Tour's Marathon Classic in Sylvania, Ohio.

Henderson put together a five-under round of 66 after Hedwall shot 67 to leave both at nine-under 133 for the tournament.

Thailand's Thidapa Suwannapura, who held the round 1 lead after shooting a 65 on Thursday, sits alone in third at eight under after carding a 69.

Emma Talley (67), Jacqui Concolino (69) and South Korea's Chun In-gee (69) share fourth place at seven under, with six more golfers another stroke back. That group includes world No. 7 and defending champion Kim In-kyung of South Korea.

After making just one bogey on Thursday, Henderson went bogey free on Friday, tallying three birdies on the front nine and parring the first seven holes after the turn. She then gained a stroke on each of the back-to-back par-fives at Nos. 17 and 18 to get to nine under for the tournament.

Hedwall managed the same feat, a day after birdies on the same two holes in a stretch of four in a row to close the back nine. Her scorecards have been quite colourful so far, with five birdies and a bogey on Friday following a nine-birdie, four-bogey opening round.

"I've just been striking the ball really well and made a couple of putts," Hedwall told reporters after her round. "It could have been a lower round today, but I'm really happy with four under and a nine-under total, and I'm just looking forward to the weekend."

Thidapa opened her day on the back nine and was one over after 11 holes with a pair of bogeys and one birdie. She followed with three birdies between Nos. 3 and 6 to get to two under for the day and eight under for the tournament.

"Today I didn't play my best," said Thidapa, who notched 10 birdies and four bogeys on Thursday. "I didn't hit it that close to the pin, so not many birdies today like yesterday."

Talley also started on the back nine, bogeying her first hole before stringing together five birdies and 12 pars over the rest of the round.

Ecuador's Daniela Darquea engineered the low round of the day and of the tournament thus far with a 64, which she achieved despite two bogeys. She started on the back nine and was just two under on the day through 14 holes, but she aced the par-three sixth hole - her second hole-in-one this year - and birdied Nos. 7, 8 and 9 to close her round.

Despite the low score, she remains six shots off the lead in a tie for 26th at three under.

Lexi Thompson, the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 5 in the world, is in a tie for 16th at four under after shooting 68.