Skip to main content
Open this photo in gallery:

Tiffany Joh of the U.S tees off during an LPGA golf tournament in Phoenix, Ariz., on March 18, 2018.Rick Scuteri/The Canadian Press

American Tiffany Joh followed up Thursday’s career-best round with a steady outing on Friday to hold a three-stroke lead over a star-studded leaderboard through 36 holes at the Ladies Scottish Open in East Lothian.

Joh shot 4-under-67 to reach 13-under 129 for the tournament, while several big names made moves up the board behind her. Three of the world’s top four players are within six strokes of the lead, and a total of five players ranked 11th or better are in the top 10.

Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn (No. 3) and South Korea’s Amy Yang (No. 27) share second place at 10 under, while Germany’s Caroline Masson (No. 37) is another stroke back in fourth.

Australia’s Su Oh (No. 86) and South Korea’s Sung Hyun Park (No. 2) are at 8 under, with South Korea’s So Yeon Ryu (No. 4) and Australia’s Minjee Lee (No. 11) another stroke back. South Korea’s I.K. Kim (No. 7) is one of four players tied for ninth at 6 under.

After a scorching 62 on Thursday, Joh carried over the momentum by birdieing the first hole from nearly 50 feet. She collected four more birdies and a bogey – her lone blemish of the tournament – before the day finished.

“I had pretty low expectations for today, to be honest,” she said after her round. “I honestly probably would have taken anything under par, but on the first hole right away we made like a 45-footer, and I just started laughing. Like I didn’t even know what to say. So yeah, it was like a really good start, and I guess I just kept rolling with it.”

Joh, 31, has yet to win an LPGA event since turning pro in 2011, posting three career top 10s. She said she can’t help but notice the big names chasing her for the lead this week, but she doesn’t intend to focus much on her opponents over the final two rounds.

“Any time you see Jutanugarn on the leaderboard, you kind of freak out a little bit,” she said. “But yeah, no, I try not to look at leaderboards. Inevitably you end up catching it with your eyes, but yeah, I try not to focus too much on that.”

Along with Masson and countrywoman Pornanong Phatlum, Jutanugarn was one of three players to shoot 65 on Friday, the lowest round of the day. Like Joh, she has just one bogey through 36 holes.

“I’m a little surprised because I didn’t play golf for like two weeks,” Jutanugarn said of her strong play. “I didn’t practice at all, and I don’t really like windy or links course. So I feel like after two rounds 10-under is pretty good.”

Yang, who began the day four strokes back of Joh and tied for second, shot 66 for the second consecutive day.

Park – who would take the No. 1 ranking from Inbee Park, who is not in the field, if she wins this week – carded her second straight 67.

Defending champion Mi Hyang Lee missed the cut by one stroke after shooting 70 and finishing at 2 over for the tournament.

Interact with The Globe