|-7 M Harigae (US), G Hall (Eng); -6 SY Kim (Kor), L Salas (US); -5 N Koerstz Madsen (Den), Y Noh (US), L Maguire (Ire), Y Saso (Phi), L Thompson (US)|
|Selected others:-3 L Duncan* (Sco); E A Fuller* (Eng), L Davies (Eng); +1 I Park (Kor), K MacDonald (Sco); +3 S Popov (Ger);|
|* denotes amateur|
England’s Georgia Hall continued her bid for a second AIG Women’s Open title by taking a share of the clubhouse lead on day two at Carnoustie.
Hall, who won at Royal Lytham and St Anne’s in 2018, shot a three-under 69 to move to seven under par at the halfway stage on the Scottish links.
American Mina Harigae is level with 25-year-old Hall after carding a 67.
World number one Nelly Korda and Madelene Sagstrom – who shared the overnight lead – are out on the course.
South Korea’s Kim Sei-young was also positioned alongside American Korda and Sweden’s Sagstrom after the opening round on Thursday, but is now a shot behind Hall and Harigae.
Kim, the world number four and 2020 Women’s PGA champion, made a blistering start with four birdies on the front half to lead.
But she faded on the back half to finish at six under with a 71.
Ireland’s Leona Maguire is another stroke back at five under following a bogey-free 67.
Defending champion Sophia Popov – the German who was ranked 304th in the world when she won at Troon 12 months ago – will miss the cut after a three-over 75.
Hall stays in contention after brushing off double bogey
Kim’s dip allowed Hall to take control and the English player led by two shots until a double bogey at the par-four 15th.
Brushing off that blow, Hall regained her composure to par the final three holes and stay top of the leaderboard.
Harigae, ranked 65th in the world and aiming for a first career win, joined Hall with four birdies in her final seven holes.
“I think I would have taken that at the start of the day, conditions were pretty still and I played pretty good,” Hall told Sky Sports after her round.
“The pins were a bit harder today, they were more tucked behind some bunkers which was a little bit tricky.
“I was very happy with my last three holes especially after the double. I don’t think I played the hole too badly but it’s so easy to make a double on this course.
“But I feel comfortable now here and I’ve done it before. The weather’s not so nice at the weekend so it’ll be interesting.”
Scottish amateur Louise Duncan slipped down the leaderboard with a rollercoaster round which ended in a one-over 73.
The 21-year-old Stirling University student was one of the stars of the opening day with a four-under 67 which left her one off the leaders.
Looking to back that up on Friday, she knocked in five birdies but was set back by six bogeys.
“It was definitely a different story from yesterday. There was a wee bit of everything in there. I’m happy with how I played and battled out there,” she told Sky Sports.
“I wasn’t as nervous as yesterday. I was just giving myself a wee bit of a hard time and then started to lighten up when I holed a birdie putt on the par three 13th.
“I didn’t really putt well to start with today. That was just patience really, just stuck to my routines and stayed patient with it.”