Kim leading US Women’s Open

I.K. Kim led the U.S. Women’s Open after the morning session of the second round Friday.

The South Korean shot a 3-under 69 for a 7-under total. Ha-Neul Kim, the first-round leader, had a 77 to fall back to 1 under.

Top-ranked Inbee Park, who came in at 5 under, is playing the afternoon session. Park is trying to make history by winning the year’s first three majors. No one has ever done that in a season with at least four majors.

American Lizette Salas shot a 72 to stay at 4 under.

Players were surprised Thursday to arrive at Sebonack to find the tees moved up and the weather calm – an easy course by U.S. Open standards. On Friday, the setup and the conditions were more what they expected: The winds picked up and some pins were tucked into uncomfortable spots.

”Anything under par I thought was going to be a great score,” I.K. Kim said.

She seems to thrive under the demands of this tournament. Kim finished in third or fourth place three straight years from 2008 to `10.

But the closest she came to a major title came last year at the Kraft Nabisco – one foot away, to be exact. Needing just a short putt to clinch the championship, Kim watched the ball lip out on the 18th hole. She went on to lose in a playoff.

”Everybody has ups and downs,” Kim said. ”Definitely finishing top five in the U.S. Open is not a bad place. But there’s times that I was disappointed. I just have a faith – if you do your best, everything is going to be OK.”

Kim is off to a consistent start this year, with six top-10 finishes in 12 starts. She’s been undaunted so far at Sebonack, making five birdies and two bogeys Friday.

”But it’s still a U.S. Open,” Kim said. ”There is a lot of golf to play – you never know what is going to happen. That is the beauty of major championships.”