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Ko, Choi Up in Canada
South Korea's Chella Choi went eight strokes lower than her opening even-par 72 at Vancouver Golf Club in British Columbia to join New Zealand amateur Lydia Ko at the top of leaderboard through 36 holes of the Canadian Women's Open, a $2 million LPGA Tour event that began Thursday in Coquitlam, B.C.
Choi had eight birdies and 12 pars en route to reaching 8-under 136 with Ko, who's shot two straight 68s on the par-72 course built early in the last century. Sharing third three strokes back are Americans Moira Dunn and Angela Stanford, who both shot 70s, and South Koreans Inbee Park (71) and Na Yeon Choi, who followed up her opening 67 with a 72.
Tied for seventh at 140 are Suzann Pettersen (69), Jiyai Shin (70) and Vicky Hurst (70). Sharing 10th another stroke back are Brittany Lang (70), Taylor Coutu (70), Jenny Shin (70) and first-round leader Yani Tseng, who after opening with a stellar 66 had a 75.
Tseng, the No. 1-ranked female player in the world, tried to cover her bases after a double-bogey on the par-3 third hole and a bogey on the par-5 10th; the rest of the way the 23-year-old from Taiwan had all pars and nary a birdie.
"I didn't play terrible today," Tseng explained. "I just did one double. If I'm not in the water and I finish one over, I'm still in pretty good position. But with 3 under, I still have two more days to go and hopefully next two days I can fight back a little bit."
As for the 15-year-old Ko, who's entering a whole new world by venturing into professional golf, her experience is Vancouver is an eye-opener. "I'm realizing golf is like a full time job, and I'm missing a lot of school. At this age I should be going to school every day. But I see my report, for the first time I was there for I think two weeks, so my absent days are like 75 days or something.
"So this is a full time job, and I guess, like me, I don't have anything to lose playing this tournament," said Ko, the No. 1-ranked amateur in the world. "I'm just here for experience. But the professionals on the other hand it's about how much money they're going to get by placing.
"So, yeah, I sometimes really miss going out with my friends and that's why I actually like school because I can see my best friend there. Even though it's school and you have to do work, I get to still see her."
The cut was set at 3-over 147. Among those playing this weekend is defending champion Brittany Lincicome, who's carded rounds of 72 and 73. Not as fortunate is 2010 Canadian Women's Open champion and last year's co-runner-up Michelle Wie, who posted rounds of 74 and 76 and is heading home.
For all the scores, visit http://www.lpgascoring.com/public/Leaderboard.aspx.