Inbee Park took the second-round lead Friday in the Kraft Nabisco Championship, making three birdies in a row early on the back nine and rebounding from a wind-blown bogey with four straight pars.
Finishing in gusty conditions on another hot afternoon in Rancho Mirage, Calif., the 24-year-old South Korean shot a 5-under-par 67 to reach 7 under.
Lizette Salas, a 2011 Southern Cal graduate, was a stroke back after a 68, and Sweden’s Carolina Hedwall (68) and Italy’s Giulia Sergas (69) followed at 5 under.
Park is seeking her second major title after winning the 2008 US Women’s Open.
Park hit a sand wedge from 70 yards to 2 feet for birdie on the par-5 11th to take the lead at 5 under, then hit 9-iron approaches to 7 feet on the next two holes to set up two more birdies.
Salas hit a three-quarter wedge from 88 yards to 3 feet to save par on the par-5 18th after driving into the left rough and putting her hybrid second into the right rough. Instead of risking hitting into the water fronting the green, she pitched back to the fairway to set up the wedge approach.
The lone American in the top 11, the 23-year-old daughter of Mexican immigrants first came to the tournament as a teenager to watch Mexican star Lorena Ochoa.
‘‘I remember watching Lorena, and I came out with a little banner for her that said, ‘You can do it,’ in Spanish, and I had great memories from outside the ropes,’’ said Salas, from Azusa. ‘‘Now, I’m trying to make some from inside the ropes.’’
PGA — Rory McIlroy matched the low round of the day with a 5-under 67 and moved within three shots of the lead at the Texas Open, continuing his last-minute preparations for next week’s Masters.
The world’s No. 2 golfer, who decided to play in the San Antonio tournament late last week, had seven birdies — including his final three holes — and overcame a bogey on No. 9 after driving into the rough and catching his left shin on a nearby cactus.
The misstep dropped McIlroy to 1 under, but he rebounded with key putts on the final three holes for birdies and pulled well within reach of the leaders entering the weekend.
The 23-year-old two-time major winner is three shots back of leader Billy Horschel, who birdied his last two holes to post his second straight 4-under 68.
A group of three players — Daniel Summerhays, Charley Hoffman, and Steven Bowditch — were two shots back at 6 under, while McIlroy is tied with six others at 5 under.
Horschel jumped from 60th to 24th on the money list after a second-place finish at last week’s Houston Open.
Horschel has made the cut in all nine of the events he’s entered this year, extending his tour-best streak to 21 made cuts in a row, but he has yet to win a PGA Tour event.