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Recari, Ryu share lead at Royal Birkdale

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By DOUG FERGUSON
AP Golf Writer

SOUTHPORT, England (AP) - Beatriz Recari finished with three straight birdies Friday for a 5-under 67, matching the best score at Royal Birkdale to share the lead with So Yeon Ryu during another tough day of scoring at the Ricoh Women's British Open.

Ryu is the only player to break par in both rounds at Royal Birkdale, a tough links course even without thick grass and increasing wind. That looked in doubt when she took double bogey on her second hole, though the former U.S. Women's Open champion didn't drop another shot the rest of the way. She had a 70.

They were at 3-under 141 with about half the field still on the course.

"Links golf is always hard to predict," Ryu said. "Even when I hit the great shots, still can finish at the worst place. And when I hit the bad shots, still can finish close to the pin. So it's really important, whatever the result, we need to accept it and just keep working. Today I made a double bogey on the second hole, but I knew it was just unlucky. I just accepted it and then think about next holes, and it helped a lot."

Michelle Wie was battling just to make the cut. Coming off her first major in the U.S. Women's Open at Pinehurst No. 2, Wie closed the front nine with three straight bogeys and was over the projected cut line.

The other major champion this year on the LPGA Tour, Lexi Thompson, was on her way to a remarkable recovery. Thompson hit two drives out of bounds on the tough opening hole and wound up with a 10. She made bogey on the next hole. Thompson steadied herself and was around the cut line playing the back nine.

Recari at least had a caddie to carry her golf bag.

Her week began with a sore wrist that she blamed on British men not helping her with four pieces of luggage in the airport. Even though her wrist was better, she remained upset over what happened in Edinburgh on Monday morning after a sponsor outing.

She recalled a "very adventurous trip where no man helped me in the airport and I had to carry four pieces of luggage just on my own. Englishmen are very ... not gentlemen."

Asked if she sought help, the Spaniard said she did not and was clearly annoyed.

"Two women tried to help me, and I said, 'I'm not going to do that to you because they are really heavy.' It was just a joke that it happened," she said.

And that was after sleeping only two hours the night before when her flight was canceled.

"They put us in a hotel next to the zoo just to make it even more comical," she said. "If we stayed with the monkeys, it would have been better."

She calmed down enough to put together six birdies against only one bogey. Her birdies included a 40-footer across the green at No. 9 and a chip-in behind the 12th green.

Ahn Sun-Ju also had six birdies in a round of 67 that left her one shot behind at 2-under 142.

Jessica Korda had another up-and-down day, opening with a double bogey-bogey and making three birdies on her next five holes to erase the bad start. Korda made 11 straight pars the rest of the way for another 72 and was at 144, along with Inbee Park.

Lydia Ko was going along well until a shot out of the bunker caromed off the shaft of her club, leading to a triple bogey on No. 8. She had a double bogey on the 16th and wound up with a 76, leaving her seven shots behind.

The toughest day belonged to Catriona Matthew, who had a 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 on her scorecard. The big numbers led to an 83, and that was after hitting an approach to tap-in range for eagle on the final hole for the former Women's British Open champion.

Laura Davies, the 50-year-old who was given a membership at Royal Birkdale this week, had a 72 and was at 3-over 147.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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