China’s Feng Shanshan yesterday birdied four of her final six holes after a long lightning delay to top the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia leaderboard when darkness suspended play.
The 27-year-old had a one-stroke lead over fellow major champion Anna Nordqvist of Sweden. Feng was seven-under for the day and 13-under overall on the 18th tee when play was stopped at TPC Kuala Lumpur. Nordqvist was on the par-five 16th.
“The 18th hole is a tough hole, but it is good that the pin location is not the toughest today,” Feng said. “I think maybe I will have a full warmup in the morning. Hopefully, then, after I finish the 18th hole, I can go directly to No. 1 and start my fourth round.”
Play was delayed for 4 hours, 39 minutes by the lightning and periods of heavy rain, leaving only 90 minutes of light left when the action resumed.
“I just kept eating,” Feng said.
Lightning and rain also suspended play on Friday afternoon. They are playing TPC Kuala Lumpur’s East Course, a week after Justin Thomas successfully defended his title on the West Course in the PGA Tour’s CIMB Classic.
Feng won the 2014 tournament for the last of her four LPGA Tour titles.
“Coming back here, I’ve had so many good memories that I’m really relaxed and really enjoying the week,” Feng said. “Of course, I think that really helps me to bring out my ‘A’ game.”
She bogeyed the par-four 11th before the delay, then reeled off birdies on the par-five 12th, par-four 14th, par-three 15th and par-five 16th. She made a 20-foot eagle putt on the par-five sixth in a front-nine 31.
Nordqvist was five-under for the round. She has six LPGA Tour victories, successfully defending her ShopRite LPGA Classic title in June in New Jersey. The former Arizona State University player lost a playoff to Brittany Lang in the US Women’s Open in July at CordeValle.
Amy Yang was third at 11-under with three holes left.
Kaohsiung native Candie Kung, who had three holes left, was tied with Suzann Pettersen (66) on nine-under, while top-ranked Lydia Ko (65) and Chella Choi (67) were eight-under.
Taiwan’s Yani Tseng carded a one-under-par 70 for a total of two-over 215.
Additional reporting by staff writer
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