LPGA - 2024 Mizuho Americas Open - Atthaya Thitikul
Atthaya Thitikul holds the 36-hole lead at the 2024 Mizuho Americas Open. (Photo by Christopher Shannon - JSN)

Atthaya Thitikul Surges to Second Round Lead at Mizuho Americas Open

Jersey City - When Nelly Korda, world No. 1, and winner of five straight starts earlier in the season, says her round "felt like poop" compared to yours, you must have had a good day.  If you are Atthaya Thitihul, you might just be that person.

After being four back after the first day, Thitikul used a 7-under 65 to take a two-stroke lead at the end of the second day of the Mizuho Americas Open.

Thitikul rode seven birdies, including five on the last seven holes, and a bogey free day, to move to the top of the leaderboard at -9 for the tournament.

"Yeah, I think in the front nine didn't have like that much kind of ball striking as the back nine had. But overall, I'm just really enjoyed it and then trust the process that I have been working on," Thitikul said of her day, adding, "And then I think I have been committed so good about the mindset, so obviously, yeah, I mean, it's a good day for bogey-free and finishing on 18, like back nine with a bunch of birdie."

Sitting in second after the second day of action at Liberty National Golf Club, So Mi Lee, Thursday's surprise first place finisher after being called into action as an alternate, had a bit more of an up-and-down day.  She carded four birdies, but also had three bogies to finish the day with a 1-under 71 and at -7 for the tournament.

Korda, along with three other players sit in a tie for third after day two at the Mizuho Americas Open: Mao Saigo, yesterday's other alternate who finished towards the top of the leaderboard, Ariya Jutanugarn, and Gabriela Ruffels.  All four golfers currently sit at 6-under-par for the tournament.

Ruffels, who, including her third-place finish at last weekend's Cognizant Founders Cup, has had an impressive last two tournaments, said of her round Friday, "Yeah, it was tough out there. It was definitely a grind. Kind of missed a few fairways, especially the front nine."

However, Ruffels added, "But made some really good up and downs and made a good up and down on the last, which felt good. Yeah, kind of grinded out a score today which I'm proud of."

Additionally, Wayne native, Marina Alex carded a 4-under 68 on Friday and currently is tied with nine other golfers at 15th with a -4 over two days in Jersey City.

Jasmine Koo Leads AJGA Tournament After Two Days

On the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) side of the tournament, Jasmine Koo is the clubhouse leader with 74 points after two rounds of play.

Elise Lee and Anna Huang are tied for second, one back of Koo, with 73 points while New Jersey natives Aphrodite Deng and Megan Meng are tied in 17th and 22nd respectively.

The 2024 edition of the Mizuho Americas Open continues Saturday with the first group of golfers teeing off at 7:39 a.m.  The 22 remaining AJGA golfers will be paired with the top 22 LPGA golfers for the final two rounds Saturday and Sunday.

Christopher Shannon

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