Ryu So-yeon birdied five of her first seven holes en route to a six-under-par 65 and a two-stroke lead at the halfway point in the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia tournament yesterday.
The South Korean added two more birdies on the back nine before suffering the only blemish on her card at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club — a bogey on the par-four 14th hole, leaving her at 11-under for the event.
Hot on her heels were a hard-charging trio tied at nine-under, led by Japan’s Ayako Uehara, who orchestrated a bogey-free 63.
England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff and 17-year-old phenomenon Lydia Ko of New Zealand stayed level with Uehara after both shot 64.
South Korea’s Ji Eun-hee joined them at nine-under, while three golfers — Feng Shanshan of China, Azahara Munoz of Spain and Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum — were a further stroke back.
World No. 1 Stacy Lewis, who held the first-round lead, surrendered it after she posted an uncharacteristic four bogeys on the front nine on the way to an even-par 71, leaving her five strokes off the lead.
Last year’s winner, Lexi Thompson of the US, saw her hopes of a repeat suffer a blow as she struggled yesterday to a 73, putting her at two-over for the tournament, well off the pace.
Taiwan’s Candie Kung shot a one-over-par 72 yesterday to finish tied for 50th place.
The US$2 million tournament is part of a multi-event swing through Asia by the LPGA.
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