North Plains, OR – Na Yeon Choi has won twice in each of the past two years, but has yet to get on the board in 2011.
But after Friday, Choi holds her first lead following a six-under 65 to begin the 54-hole Safeway Classic at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club.
Choi hasn't won since the Hana Bank Championship late last year, though she came into this week as the No. 5 ranked player in the world. She had a chance to go into Saturday four clear of the field, but a double-bogey on the last halved her lead.
Chasing Choi is a fellow Korean, Grace Park, who is alone in second at four- under 67.
Two more Koreans, Se Ri Pak and M.J. Hur, share third with Anna Nordqvist and Ashli Bunch at minus-three.
Several golfers are looking to make a push onto the American Solheim Cup team, with this being the last week to collect points for September's event. Nine of the 10 automatic spots have already been decided, with Christina Kim, Katie Futcher, Kristy McPherson and Vicky Hurst battling it out for the last position.
Hurst, who would need to win to have any chance to qualify, shot an even-par 71 and is tied for 19th; McPherson, in the same position, posted a two-over 73; Futcher, who needs a fourth place finish or better, is five-over; Kim, who is the heavy favorite to win the 10th spot, is three-over-par.
MORE TO FOLLOW.