Kim Kaufman carded a 66 for the second day in a row and holds a two-shot lead at 13-under par in the ISPS Handa Vic Open.
Kaufman matched her opening-round 66 on the Beach Course (par 72) with a 66 on the par-73 Beach Course on Friday in the second round at 13th Beach Golf Links in Barwon Heads, Victoria, Australia.
Kaufman is up two on Haru Nomura (11-under) with Su Oh three back and Charlotte Thomas four off the lead.
“We’re just playing solid, giving ourselves a lot of chances — which is what you’ve got to do out here,” said Kaufman, who holds her first second-round lead since the 2015 JTBC Founders Cup. “Sometimes it’s just got some teeth without wind so it’s just kind of navigating those ups and downs, so we’re doing a good job.”
Billed as a baseline for sports equality, the tournament follows a format unique to professional golf. Men and women play on the same courses in alternating groups competing for equal prize money. The ISPS Handa Vic Open is jointly sanctioned by the LPGA Tour, the ALPG, the European Tour and the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia.
Australians Nick Flanagan and Jason Scrivener were tied for the lead on the men’s side at 14-under after two rounds.
Kaufman missed 12 of 14 cuts to end the 2018 season and went to Q School in Pinehurst, N.C., to improve her standing. She credits that time committed to her game, and her recovery from an extended bout of mononucleosis, for helping her get back on her feet. Kaufman applauded the tournament format this week.
“I just think it’s such a great thing they’re doing, equal pay and we all want more prize money and equal prize money,” said Kaufman, who serves as a Player Director on the LPGA’s Board of Directors. “Maybe it’s not $10 million. But it is someone who’s starting to do this, I think it’s awesome.”
Nomura, in her first event since August 2018, is in position to challenge for her first win since 2017. She won this tournament in 2016.
“I’m still working on the course,” said Nomura. “On the course I’m trying to stretch and come in better. Now getting better, yeah, better than last year.”
—Field Level Media