Uribe leads Women's Australian Open

BY foxsports • February 15, 2013

Colombia's Mariajo Uribe shot a 6-under-par 67 to overtake South Korea's Jiyai Shin and overnight leader Lydia Ko and claim the second-round lead in the Women's Australian Open on Friday.

Uribe opened with a birdie after teeing off on the par-4 10th and made four more at Royal Canberra, including at the sixth and seventh as she moved to 15-under 131 and a one-stroke lead.

Two-time British Open winner Shin fired eight birdies against two bogeys for 67, sharing second with 15-year-old amateur Ko, who followed an opening round 63 with a 69.

Ko had five birdies in her round, but squandered a chance to retain a share of the lead when she dropped a bogey on the par-4 14th.

''I just thought 6-iron would be the club and I hit it well, but it just took a big bounce and it went straight over the green,'' she said.

Uribe, who turned pro in 2009, is chasing her first title in the LPGA Tour season opener and played a blemish-free round to follow her 64 on Thursday.

She had a chance to extend her lead, but lipped out with a birdie putt on her second-to-last hole, then narrowly missed another on her final hole — the par-4 ninth — after just avoiding a fairway bunker with her tee shot.

''I saw it was a good bounce, and that's the way it's been this week,'' she said of her drive on No. 9. ''I believe in things that are meant to be and I feel it's meant to be for me to play good this week. Hopefully it stays like that for the weekend.''

Ko was grouped with top-ranked Yani Tseng (71), who finished eight strokes off the lead, and Michelle Wie, who missed the cut by two strokes after rounds of 74 and 73.

Ko won her home New Zealand Women's Open last Sunday for her third professional victory. Last year, she won the New South Wales Open to become the youngest player to win a pro tour event and the Canadian Open to become the youngest LPGA Tour winner. She also won the US Women's Amateur.

''Four under is a pretty good score out there,'' Ko said. ''It's not an easy golf course. It is a pretty good score for me. . . . I putted well out there and played well.''

Shin took an early lead after the morning session, despite conceding bogeys on the ninth and fifth holes.

''I made a couple of bogeys today but I made more birdies,'' she said. ''I hit it OK but (it was) just the wrong read, so I still have a good feeling at the moment and a good tempo,'' Shin said.

Australia's Kristie Smith was fourth, five strokes off the lead after a 68, while Beatriz Recari was a shot further back after a 69.

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