The pair, who will be part of Australiaâ€™s team next week in the inaugural International Crown are at five-under-par and share 8th position at five-under-par. They are six shot back from the American Laura Diaz who followed up her 62 and 69 to be atop of the leaderboard at 11-under-par.
Just when it appeared like 39-year-old Laura Diazâ€™s return to the top of an LPGA leaderboard after a first-round 62 might be a temporary blip in a nice early week story, she birdied three of her final four holes to emerge from a three-way tie for the lead with a three-shot lead after the second round at the Marathon Classic Presented by Owens Corning and O-I. Rolex World No.2 Lydia Ko (67) and South African Lee-Anne Pace (68) are leading the chase at 8-under.
The 2012 winner here So Yeon Ryu and Rebecca Lee-Bentham are four shots back of the lead in a tie for fourth at 7-under. Three other times Diaz has led this event after two rounds â€“ 2009, 2003 and 2002 â€“ but faded on the weekend and finished tied for 42, tied for 8th, and tied for 3rd those years, respectively.
That 2009 lead was the last time sheâ€™s been in this position heading into a round on Saturday and she was admittedly nervous in that position on Friday. â€œFor me, it was just a challenge because I havenâ€™t been in this position in a very long time. For sure havenâ€™t had cameras on me in a long time,â€ she said. â€œSo I was anxious for them to go away I think in a funny kind of way.â€ Keep playing like she has so far and thereâ€™s no chance the cameras are departing.
The mother of two has two career victories â€“ both in 2002 â€“ and her last top-10 finish came four years ago at the 2010 LPGA Tour Championship where she tied for fifth.
For the Australians it has been a good week thus far. Kirk has fired rounds of 69 and 68, while Wright has carded rounds of 67 and 70 to be at five-under. Queenslandâ€™s Sarah Jane Smith (71) is at one-under-par and tied for 46th. Julia Boland made it thru to the week-end on the cut number at one-over.
Unfortunately Sarah Kemp and Stacey Keating missed the cut.