Hsu Wei-ling yesterday rode the support of her home crowd to shoot a five-under 67 and take a one-stroke lead after two rounds of the Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship.
Hsu had a two-round total of nine-under 135 at the Ta Shee Golf and Country Club, one ahead of first-round leader Jodi Ewart Shadoff, who shot 71 yesterday.
“That was probably the most people I had around me, I felt a lot of support,” Hsu said. “It also helped that I didn’t look around much or check the scoreboards.”
Photo: EPA, Ritchie B. Tongo
If she had, she would have seen that former world No. 1 Lydia Ko was the big mover with a round-of-the-day 66 to move into third place and within two strokes of her lead.
The South Korean-born New Zealander had five birdies on her front nine, then stalled somewhat on the back nine until an approach to 30cm on the par-four 17th, a shot she called “one of the best of my career,” resulted in a birdie.
Babe Liu, Teresa Lu and Hou Yu-chiang were the next Taiwanese in a share of 29th on par, followed by Candie Kung in 40th on one-over and Wu Chia-yen in 45th on two-over.
Tony Finau yesterday charged into a three-stroke lead at the midway point of the WGC-HSBC Champions with a splendid five-under-par 67 that was slowed only by a bad-luck bounce off a sprinkler head.
Finau had snatched the lead from overnight front-runner Patrick Reed and was running away from the pack after birdies on five of the first 10 holes at Shanghai’s Sheshan International Golf Club.
However, Finau’s approach on the par-four 11th landed smack on a greenside sprinkler and bounded past the hole into a hazard, leading to double-bogey.
“That’s about as bad a break as I have ever had, but one thing I learned from this game is you take the good with the bad,” Finau said with a laugh.
The 29-year-old American, whose fast-improving game has vaulted him up the golf world rankings to 17th, righted the ship with three birdies down the stretch.
The first player of Polynesian descent to play on the PGA Tour, Finau totaled eight birdies to move to 11-under, with Reed at eight-under along with defending champion and world No. 3 Justin Rose and his fellow Englishman Tommy Fleetwood.
After tearing up the lengthy course with an opening-round 64, reigning Masters champ Reed had to scramble after finding water three times, but he pulled off the shot of the day to avoid what he said would have been a “big number” on 18.
After slicing his tee shot into the water, Reed smacked a 155m iron over the water to a few feet from the pin, although he just missed the birdie putt to finish at par for the day.
Taiwan’s C.T. Pan had a rough day, falling 26 places to 31st after shooting a four-over 76.
Additional reporting by staff writer
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