Meijer LPGA Classic | Ayaka Furu leads the weekend in the LPGA

Belmont, Mich. (AP) — Ayaka Furu of Japan shot a bogey-free 5-under 67 at Blythefield Country Club on Friday to take a one-stroke lead into the weekend’s Major LPGA Classic.

The 5-foot-12 shot 11-under 133 in the final event before next week’s major KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in Baldusroll, New Jersey.

Hyo Joo Kim (65), Leona Maguire (65), Carlotta Siganda (66) and Amy Yang (67) were a stroke back. Defending champion Jennifer Kupso (69), Manon de Roi (65), Aditi Ashok (67), Minjee Lee (67), Emily Christine Pedersen (68) and Lindsey Weaver-Wright (69) were all at 9 under.

„Everybody’s going down,” Maguire said. „You think you’ve got to go down, you’ve got to make birdies to even be in position, let alone go up. That’s a lot of the weekend.”

The 23-year-old Furrow, the shortest player on the LPGA Tour, won the Women’s Scottish Open last summer. She lost to Bajari Annarukarn in the final of the LPGA Match-Play last month and is five-for-four this season.

„I just want to keep playing my golf,” Furrow said.

Kupso had six birdies and three bogeys on the day after a bogey-free 66.

„I didn’t hit the ball like yesterday, so I struggled my way through the round,” Kupso said.

Siganda eagled the par-5 fourth and eighth holes. No. Driving a “pitch shot” from 50 yards on the 4th, no. He made a 15 foot putt on the 8th.

„Overall, very happy,” Siganda said. „Play well, putt and get excited for the weekend.”

Ashleigh Buhai, winner of last week’s ShopRite LPGA Classic in New Jersey, was 8 under after her second 68.

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„A lot of speed, obviously, but a lot of fatigue,” Buhai said. „I took Monday and Tuesday off to try to recover a bit.”

Canadian Brooke Henderson, who won the event in 2017 and 2019, carded a 73 on the par-5 18th.

Lexie Thompson and Lydia Goe missed out on this opportunity. Thompson, the 2015 winner, followed up his 69 with a 74, and Koh had a 72 for his second.

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