22 May 2021 | Professional golf |

Kemp surges to LPGA lead

by Martin Blake

Sarah Kemp Pure Silk image
Sarah Kemp is chasing her first LPGA Tour victory. Photo: Getty

Australia's Sarah Kemp set herself up for a thrust toward a first-ever LPGA Tour victory in Williamsburg, Virginia today at the Pure Silk Championship. Kemp's second-round 67 to go with an opening 69 put her at the top of the leaderboard at the halfway point of the $US1.3 million tournament. The 35-year-old from Tuncurry on the New South Wales north coast has five top-10 finishes in an LPGA Tour career that dates back to 2008, but she has never won a tournament on the main tour. She has won 12 times at home in Australia. Having started on the back nine, Kemp made a bomb from long range for birdie at seventh hole to join the lead and another at the eighth ensured she would take the lead into the weekend, a shot clear of world No. 14 Jessica Korda of the United States. "It was great," said Kemp. "I slept great. Had a really good warmup. I just felt really good, and sometimes you just feel like you're going to play well, and it was one of those days. Hit some great shots. Made some putts. I didn't miss a whole lot of fairways. Probably had under 30 putts, and that leads to four under." Stretching her memory, Kemp said she went into the final group of an LPGA tournament a few years ago in Toledo. "I remember it well. That's the last final group I was in which had to have been a very long time ago, so that's not a good thing. Here is another one, so that's good."

It's been a good week for Australians, with Katherine Kirk (69-70) also inside the top 10.

As for Kemp, she is planning on hanging on to the strong focus she has had for two days.

"I actually had to ask Rick my caddie then, 'what did I have? What did I shoot today?' Which I really like, because it's getting me away from my score. "I think that will be key tomorrow. If I can just forget about my score and focus on the simple stuff, okay, obviously hitting the fairway and hit the green and make a good putt, that's all I can control. So I can't really control who I'm playing with tomorrow or what they're doing. So just the simple stuff and focus on one shot at a time."

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