Sat, Feb 25, 2012 - Page 20 News List

Yani Tseng loses ground against three frontrunners


US duo Angela Stanford and Katie Futcher were locked in a three-way tie yesterday with South Korea’s Jenny Shin after the second round of the HSBC Women’s Champions tournament in Singapore.

Overnight leader Stanford, who had a two-shot cushion after the first 18 holes, had a two-under 70 for a total of eight-under 136, while Futcher and Shin each posted 67 in the second round.

World No. 1 and pre-tournament favorite Yani Tseng had a disappointing day and lost further ground on the leaders.

The Texan Stanford expects the last two rounds to be even tougher and believes staying patient will be important if she is to go all the way tomorrow.

“I think it gets harder as the tournament goes along to be patient, so I am really going to try and stay focused on playing my game and taking advantage of the holes that I feel like I can take advantage of and being okay with par,” she said.

Futcher, who was a promising swimmer in her junior days before taking up golf, said making par at the first hole calmed her nerves for the rest of the round.

“Went out, made a great putt on No. 1 today for par, and that kind of really just got me settled and I was able after that to hit it pretty close and make a couple of putts,” she said.

Japan’s Ai Miyazato, the 2010 champion, was three shots behind the co-leaders after posting a 70 for a total of five-under 139 at the halfway stage of the tournament and tied at fourth spot.

She bogeyed the fifth and seventeenth holes, but was otherwise pleased with her second-round performance at the US$1.4 million event being staged at the Tanah Merah Country Club’s par-72 Garden Course.

“Seventeen was a little bit disappointing, but I know I learned something for tomorrow,” she said.

“All in all, it went well. I’m very happy,” she added.

Tseng had a frustrating outing and is one-under after two rounds for a total of 143, but the Taiwanese superstar refused to blame her sore elbow for her performance.

“It was a little bit sore when I was playing today, but it has been much better compared to the last few days,” Tseng said of the tendonitis afflicting her right elbow.

“I didn’t give myself a lot of birdie opportunities today and I need to be more confident in my decision making,” she said.

Tseng was the pre-tournament favorite heading into Singapore, after successfully defending her title at the Honda LPGA Thailand on Sunday and was bidding to win for the first time here.

There is no halfway-cut for the event, which means there is still an opportunity for those lower down the field to work their way into contention for the title.

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