Daytona Beach, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Ju Young Park carded a 4-under 68 in Thursday's second round and that was good enough to get her into a share of the lead with first-round leader Casey Grice in the final stage of the LPGA Tour Qualifying School.
Grice fired her second straight round in the 60s as well with a 3-under 69 and she is tied atop the leaderboard with Park at 9-under-par 135 after 36 holes.
The field was split between two courses at LPGA International. Half of the field played on the Arthur Hills Course, while the other half was on the Rees Jones Course. Park played the Rees Jones Course and Grice was on the Arthur Hills Course Thursday.
Samantha Richdale (66), Sophia Popov (67) and Elizabeth Nagel (69) finished their second rounds tied for third at 7-under 137, while Stephanie Meadow (66) and Ryann O'Toole (71) are tied for sixth at minus-6. Popov played the Rees Jones Course with Richdale, Nagel, O'Toole and Meadow all were on the Arthur Hills Course.
Park, beginning the day tied for second place and one shot behind the leader Grice, started out very well as she made back-to-back birdies on 10 and 11. Park gave one of those shots back with a bogey on 12, putting her at minus-1.
Following three straight pars from 13, Park drained her third birdie on the par-4 16th. She then made the turn with four straight pars from 17 before tripping to her second bogey on three.
Park closed out her round on fire, however, as she birdied three of the final six at five, seven and eight to grab a share of the lead.
"My course management has worked really well for me," Park said. "I just want to keep playing well over the next three days."
Grice was very quiet on her first nine before making a move late in her round. Starting on the back nine, Grice rattled off nine straight pars from 10 and made the turn at even par.
Grice finally got things going with three birdies in four holes from one before tripping to her first and only bogey on No. 5. Grice closed out her round with three pars on six before finishing with a gain at the last to join Park atop the leaderboard.
Richdale was over par for her round early with a bogey on three, but three birdies in her next four holes on four, five and seven got her to minus-2. Richdale continued to play well on the back nine with birdies on 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18 to go along with a bogey on 17.
Popov was bogey free in her round with birdies on three, 13 and 15. She also finished very strong with an eagle on the par-5 18th.
"My long game has been the key," said Popov. "I've been striking it pretty well and I hit 16 greens and two fringes today and I was able to putt pretty well."
Nagel, playing the back nine first, made two bogeys on 10 and 16 to go along with a birdie on 14. The front nine, Nagel's back, was where she made her move with birdies on two, six, eight and nine.
NOTES: Grice had three top-10 finishes on the Symetra Tour last season ... Park is the sister of Hee Young Park, a two-time winner on the LPGA Tour ... After a 68 on Wednesday, Cheyenne Woods, the niece of Tiger Woods, struggled on her way to a 7-over 79 and she is tied for 80th at 3-over 147 ... The start of the second round was delayed 15 minutes due to fog ... The top-20 finishers this week will earn category 12 status on the LPGA Tour priority list, while those finishing between 21 and 45 get category 17 status ... Those who do not earn category 12 or 17 status will still be eligible to compete for a spot on the Symetra Tour priority list.