Fri, Nov 09, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Ariya seizes lead at Blue Bay LPGA ahead of sister

AFP, SHANGHAI

Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn plays a shot in the second round of the Blue Bay LPGA in Sanya, China, yesterday.

Photo: AFP

Thai world No. 1 Ariya Jutanugarn yesterday seized the outright lead at the halfway stage of the US$2.1 million Blue Bay LPGA in China — with her sister in hot pursuit.

Ariya carded a four-under-par 68 to go seven-under for the tournament on China’s blustery Hainan Island, with sister Moriya Jutanugarn tied in second and four shots off.

Moriya, who at age 24 is 16 months older than her sibling, shared second place with Jennifer Song of the US and Mexico’s Gaby Lopez.

Ariya is chasing an 11th victory on the US-based LPGA Tour and, having started the day in joint second, surged to the summit with seven birdies against three bogeys.

Ariya said that she has a combustible relationship with Moriya, but she is relishing the prospect of fighting it out with her sister on the golf course.

“I think [it is] going to be so much fun,” Ariya said.

“We stay together this week... We woke up same time like both days already. We walk to the course together,” she said.

“I think we [are] very nice to each other when we’re on the golf course, but off the golf course I think we [are] not nice to each other,” she added.

Song, ranked 48th in the world, said she enjoyed playing the role of hunter.

“I’m excited, I think I play better when I’m chasing from behind,” she said.

Overnight leader Thidapa Suwannapura, another Thai, struggled in the hot and windy conditions and shot a 75, falling to a tie for sixth.

Taiwan’s Chien Pei-yun and Hsu Wei-ling again had identical rounds, this time carding four-over 76s to finish in a group tied for 39th.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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