Friday, February 26, 2016

Amy Yang heads crowded leaderboard at

LPGA Thailand


A day after players were raving about the conditions in Thailand, firmer and faster greens made for a much tougher test on day two of the Honda LPGA Thailand at Chonburi.
Grouped together in the final group on Friday, first round leader Lexi Thompson, Q Baek and defending champion Amy Yang took turns atop the leaderboard. Thompson and Baek shared the lead for much of the front nine, but it was Yang who ended the day atop the leaderboard. 
“I struggled a little bit on the front, two bogeys straight, but I think I stayed patient well, got through it well. I'm happy with today's round,” Yang said of her three-under-par 69 which contained birdies at the fourth, ninth, 10th, 12th and 15th, offset by back-to-back bogeys at the fifth and sixth.

While her playing partners both dropped shots on the inward nine, Yang went bogey-free on the back nine tto lead by one at 9-under par 135. 
Q Baek (65-71) is one back of Yang, T-2 at 8-under par 136 alongside Jessica Korda (70-66) and first-round leader Lexi Thomson (64-72).
Baek  had an up and down day that resulted in a 1-under par 71. Thompson's second round was about getting up and down. 
After an unlucky bounce with her approach to the par 4, 11th she was able to save par from behind the green, but wasn’t so lucky at the 13th and 17th holes, where she left her chips short and then ran her second one well past the hole as the greens continued to firm up Friday. 
After her approach to the 18th hole rolled off the front side of the green, Thompson managed to get up and down for birdie to finish even for the day. She’s T-2 at 8-under par.
“It's just pin positions, and the ridges on these greens, you can get some tough pins, especially with how fast the greens are, so you have to make sure you hit the fairways and get the spin that you need going into the greens,” Thompson said after the round.
 “But it's a tough course, especially with the fast greens. There's a lot of run-ups and a lot of ridges.”
Also T-2 is Jessica Korda, who, despite tough pin placements and fast greens, matched Haru Nomura for the low round of the day by draining a 12-footer for eagle on 18 to card a 6-under par, 66 on Friday. 
She’s making her first start this week after taking some time off following the Coates Golf Championship, spending time with friends Michelle Wie and Austin Ernst and working with instructor David Whelan.
“It was nice. I took like three days off after Ocala because the first two weeks it felt like super jammed. Everything was really jammed in. So I just took a couple days off and then went back,” said Korda. 
 “We've just been working on keeping my tempo kind of slower. I kind of tend to rush, try and speed everything up, and just really trying to keep my tempo and keep myself happy and calm.”
Haru Nomura, Chella Choi, In Gee Chun, and Ha Na Jang round out the top-5 at 6-under par. Eight players are within three-strokes of the lead and all are winners on the LPGA Tour.
Currently T-9 at 5-under par, Xi Yu Lin has had a special week. Lin celebrated her birthday on Thursday and received a belated gift on Friday when she made an ace at the par 3, 16th hole. Lin had no idea she had holed her tee shot until she made her way up to the green and realised her ball was in the hole and that she had won the car sitting behind the tee.
“When I walked off the tee, I just didn't believe. I was thinking they were kidding, so I didn't really look at the car, but it's funny, like then on the 17th hole I see the group behind coming in, and I was thinking, okay, don't touch my car, that's my car,” Lin said after her round.
It was the second ace in Tournament play for Lin, who carded a 4-under par, 68 on Friday.

135 Amy Yang (SKo) 66 69
136 Jessica Korda (USA) 70 66, Q Baek (SKor) 65 71, Lexi Thompson (USA) 64 72
138 Haru Nomura (Japan) 72 66, Chella Choi (SKor) 70 68, In Gee Chun (SKor) 69 69, Ha Na Jang (SKo) 69 69.

144 Charley Hull (Eng) 75 69. 
148 Michelle Wie (USA) 74 74
153 Karrie Webb 76 77

Click here for complete scores from the second round of the Honda LPGA Thailand.

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