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UGA winner Nuny Khamken improves in the LPGA Senior Championship

Playing the other side of Copper Rock Golf Course, Nuny Kham-One Khamken encountered the same gusting winds that bothered the leaders of the LPGA Senior Championship near the end of Friday’s second round in Hurricane.

Nuny Khamken prepares for a tee shot on hole 18 at Copper Rock GC during the second round of the LPGA Senior Championship. (Photo: Fairways Media/Randy Dodson)

Khamken bogeyed her last five holes. Yet she left Copper Rock feeling much better about herself and her golf game, while looking forward to one more round among the Legends of the LPGA.

With the help of a birdie on the par-4 No. 13 (her fourth hole of the day), the reigning Utah Senior Women’s State Amateur champion from West Jordan posted an 85, improving by five strokes in the second round. She might have finished better, if not for the wind that made even putting an adventure during the last hour of play.

In the two-tee starting format, players at the bottom of the leaderboard teed off on No. 10, about the same time as the top players went off No. 1. So Khamken understood what the likes of defending champion Angela Stanford and first-time entrant Cristie Kerr were facing, as they finished just after her on the double green of Nos. 9 and 18.

LPGA Senior Championship defending champ and second round leader, Angela Stanford. (Photo: Fairways Media/Randy Dodson).

Stanford bogeyed three of the last six holes, settling for a 5-under-par 67 after being 6-under through six holes and posting a front-nine 29. At 7-under for the tournament, she’ll start Saturday’s final round with a two-stroke lead over Kerr, who made four bogeys and a birdie on the last six holes. In the event for golfers 45 and older, the final threesome of Stanford, Kerr and Laura Diaz all are in their 40s.

Laura Diaz, a four-time member of the Solheim Cup team, will join Angela Stanford and Cristie Kerr in final pairing Saturday. (Photo: Fairways Media/Randy Dodson)

Khamken became eligible for Utah Golf Association senior (50-over) competition last year and earned an exemption into the LPGA Senior Championship with her win in the Senior Women’s State Am. She liked the way she approached the second round after being too tough on herself Thursday. Khamken took the advice of Penny James-Garcia, Copper Rock’s Volunteer and Event Coordinator, to just relax and not worry so much about comparing herself to some of the best women’s golfers in the world.

That helped. Although she again made some scoring mistakes Friday, Khamken improved by five shots on her first four holes, compared with the opening round. She saved par on No. 10 via a nice chip and birdied No. 13 with a 15-foot putt after hitting a gap wedge onto the green.

Khamken is six strokes ahead of Florida’s Glenda Todd, the only other amateur in the 73-player field, and they’re in the same group Saturday.

Story by Fairways Media senior writer Kurt Kragthorpe. LPGA Senior Championship leaderboard, CLICK HERE.