Credit Paul Childs/Reuters
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland — I.K. Kim, the best player in women’s golf right now, emerged from the cold and wet with a four-under 68 to build a two-shot lead in the Women’s British Open going into the weekend.
A two-time winner on the L.P.G.A. Tour over the last two months, Kim dropped only one shot in some of the worst conditions at Kingsbarns Links and reached the halfway point at 11-under 133. She was two shots clear of Lexi Thompson of the United States and Georgia Hall of England.
Kim, a 29-year-old South Korean, displayed a remarkable fortitude in weather that veered erratically toward the end of the day between bright sunshine and torrential downpours. She atoned for her lone bogey with three birdies and an eagle on the 538-yard 11th hole.
“The eagle was very unexpected,” Kim said before conceding her drive landed on a friendly downslope and gained an extra 30 yards or so. “I think this was kind of as bad as the weather could get. I expected rain, but not like this. It’s not easy to play in this kind of weather. But I feel really good about my game. I’ve been hitting the ball very well and I’m starting to make some putts. That’s when I shoot low scores.”
Still, perhaps the most significant move came from Thompson, the No. 2 player in the world.
Two-over par and birdie-free after nine holes, she played the homeward nine in 30 with six birdies, including five in a row. In addition, she found time to add a new phrase to golf’s already voluminous terminology.