LPGA Mizuho Round 2

posted June 3, 2023 in CommRadio, Sports by Amanda Vogt

JERSEY CITY, N.J. - The first half of the inaugural Mizuho Americas Open was just as unpredictable as the weather and wind direction.

At 6 pm, play was momentarily suspended with thunder and lightning in the area and did not resume until 7:47 pm. Battling the setting sun, the afternoon wave was still able to complete round two.

It’s a crowded leaderboard at the top with moving day looming. The cut was finalized at two over par with the top 49 and ties advancing to the weekend. No cut was made for the 24 AJGA players in the event, and in rounds three and four each player will be paired up with two LPGA players.

“I hope they can take a lot from it and just know that we were all once in their shoes a few years ago,” Cheyenne Knight said. “The [LPGA] Tour is always going to be here, so I think they just need to love it and enjoy it above anything else.”

Knight co-leads at seven under par even after battling through some tougher stretches of bogeys in each of her rounds.

“How I rebounded and kind of how I didn’t let my emotions get the best of me today is something I’ll take going forward,” Knight said.

Sharing the lead with her is Minjee Lee who was one of two players on Friday to fire a tournament-best round of 64, eight under par. The other is New Jersey native, Marina Alex, who had a complete turnaround to her week after firing an 80 in round one. Alex moved back to even par for the tournament and “couldn’t have been happier with that.”

Lee took advantage of the weaker wind gusts during her morning round to jumpstart her opportunities.

“I didn’t really feel like my [one over par] score reflected how I played yesterday, so I really just came in with a positive attitude,” Lee said. “I think Liberty National is kind of a course where if you play it more, the better idea you have.”

With the leaders teeing off later in the afternoon, the wind is expected to remain gusty; navigating those conditions is what separates the field.

Jin Young Ko had the lowest round of the afternoon wave, finishing after the delay at six-under, and -5 for the tournament. After focusing on putting Thursday afternoon after round one, she felt a significant improvement which was pivotal in today’s low score.

“I worried about not finishing today,” Ko said. “I think I’m so lucky to finish and I’m going to go get great sleep and I’m looking forward to the weekend.”

Ko is T-4 among several others including Rose Zhang, who in her first professional start, made her first professional cut.

The biggest thorn in her side, if any, considering she’s on the first page of the leaderboard, is trying not to treat this week any differently. Zhang relies on her consistent routine “especially things that have been working for [her] in the past in other tournaments,” so she has been adamant about not changing things around.

“I’ve been trying to maintain what I know, and I think that’s been a great help for me as a player and as a competitor because I’m going out here and doing the same thing as I always do and playing the game of golf that I love,” Zhang said.

Fourteen players are within four shots of Lee and Knight’s lead, but cooler temperatures during round three could add some other obstacles that these players have to face.

Liberty National might provide a direct line of sight to Lady Liberty and the Manhattan skyline, but these players only have eyes for the trophy to become the first-ever winner of the Mizuho Americas Open.

Amanda Vogt is a rising sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email amandaevogt@gmail.com.