ONEIDA -- Sandra Gal got herself in the right frame of mind to make a move up the leaderboard at the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic by spending Friday's weather delay hustling a little pool in the vast clubhouse at the course.
"We kind of thought we're not going to get out, and it wasn't hard because we went up and played pool, so we had a lot of fun actually," Gal told reporters Saturday after finishing a career-best 8-under-par 64 that moved her within one shot of second-round leader Katherine Kirk as golfers headed right back out to start the third round just after noon CDT with the idea that all groups will finish before sunset. "I think that's what kept me loose, and just not thinking about the round, and winning a couple pool matches, that was fun."
Like Kirk, who played the back nine in 7-under Friday, Gal made her move there, too.
After a par on No. 14 resuming her second round, the German went birdie-birdie to get to 12-under and within a shot of Kirk, who finished her second round just after noon Friday. Gal then finished par-par for her 64, matching her career low she most recently shot at the 2015 Manulife LPGA Classic.
"I really like all the holes; it just fits my eye," Gal said of the Thornberry Creek at Oneida layout. "There's nothing really that I'm not comfortable with, and it's very score-able, obviously. There's a few low scores out there (the first two rounds), so heading into the weekend, (there are) lots of birdies."
Gal and Kirk will tee off at 2:25 p.m. CDT.
Crossing the tees
The official cut came at 3-under 141 and 79 golfers -- including 13 of the 30 LPGA Tour rookies in the field -- survived to play the weekend. ... The Bank of Hope Founders Cup remains the lowest cut of the season on a par 72 course at 139 (5-under). ... Madeleine Sheils is the top rookie at 8-under 136. Seven countries are represented by players in the top 10, including four Americans.