South Korean Inbee Park fired a seven-under par 64 on Friday to seize a one-stroke lead in the second round of the storm-interrupted US$1.3 million Manulife Financial LPGA Classic.
Needing only 22 putts, Park made eight birdies against a lone bogey to stand on nine-under par 133 after 36 holes, one stroke ahead of US player Brittany Lang, South Korean Seo Hee-kyung and China’s Feng Shanshan.
Feng is coming off her first LPGA triumph, her victory two weeks ago at the LPGA Championship. She became the first Chinese golfer to capture a major title.
A storm on Thursday forced the first round to be completed yesterday morning and the second round nearly beat the darkness, but seven players were due to return to Grey Silo Golf Course this morning to complete their final one or two holes.
Park birdied the par-4 second and par-3 third holes and added another at the par-5 fifth before taking her lone bogey at the par-5 sixth, but she bounced back by closing the front nine with back-to-back birdies.
She birdied three of the last five holes on the back nine, including the par-5 18th, to pull atop the leaderboard.
Seo, last year’s LPGA rookie of the year, took a double bogey at the 17th to stumble from a share of the lead, but birdied the 18th to move within a stroke of her compatriot.
Taiwan’s Candie Kung carded a 72 to finish the round two under par, while Lin Tzu-chi got 68 for two over par overall. Amy Hung shot a 77 in the round for an overall score of five over par.