Peiyun Chien of Taiwan fired an 8-under-par 64 on Friday to grab a four-shot lead at the midway point of the Kroger Queen City Championship in Cincinnati.
Chien made six birdies and holed out for an eagle 2 at the par-4 sixth hole at Kenwood Country Club. She moved to 14-under 130, comfortably ahead of Morgane Metraux of Switzerland and China’s Ruoning Yin and Ruixin Lin in a tie for second at 10 under.
Chien, ranked No. 184 in the world, has won on the Taiwan LPGA and the Epson Tour but is seeking her first LPGA title.
“The eagle is amazing,” Chien said. “I was thinking maybe it (would) go in because I have a lot of shots almost went in couple weeks, but I’m still waiting for a eagle. But it just happened, so I’m very happy.”
Metraux parred her first eight holes before breaking through with a birdie at the par-4 ninth. That opened the floodgates, as she added five more birdies on the back nine while remaining bogey-free for a 66.
“Both days I started a little cold,” Metraux said. “Didn’t make putts at the beginning of the round, and just kept playing steady, kept hitting my spots on the fairways and on the greens, and a few started falling on the back so it was pretty fun.”
Yin, the 20-year-old who won the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in June, made three birdies on each nine to shoot 66 and move into good position.
“I think I’m only four shots behind.,” Yin said. “I mean, I will make birdie as much as I can. Just try to stay with the same strategy and stick with my game. I think will be fine.”
Liu, the first-round leader, posted a 69 with six birdies (including three straight) and three bogeys.
Yuka Saso of Japan (66) and Charley Hull of England (68) are tied for fifth at 9 under. Nasa Hataoka of Japan recovered from an opening 73 by shooting the round of the day, a 9-under 63, to reach a tie for seventh at 8 under.
Defending champion Ally Ewing posted a second-round 70 and is tied for 19th at 5 under.
The second round saw two holes-in-one. Germany’s Olivia Cowan aced the 154-yard eighth hole with a 7-iron en route to a 67, moving her to 4 under for the tournament. Jodi Ewart Shadoff of England had a hole-in-one with her 8-iron from 161 yards out at the third hole; she carded a 71 and finished the day at 2 over, where she will miss the cut.
Other notable players who couldn’t reach the cut line of 1 under par included South Africa’s Ashleigh Buhai (even), U.S. Women’s Open champion Allisen Corpuz (even) and last week’s winner in Portland, Ore., Chanettee Wannasaen of Thailand (1 over).
–Field Level Media