Lewis ahead but teen star heads chase in Thailand


Sat, Feb 23, 2013 - Page 20

World No. 3 Stacy Lewis held on to her three-shot overnight lead after round two of the Honda LPGA Thailand yesterday, but was pushed hard by Thai teenager Ariya Jutanugarn who hit a flawless 66.

Teeing off last, American Lewis quickly showed Thursday’s stunning 63 was no fluke when she notched a birdie at the par-five first.

She added four more birdies over the day, marred by two dropped shots, which sent her back into the clubhouse with 69 and a healthy 12-under par score overall.

However, the day arguably belonged to 17-year-old Ariya, who was six shots behind the leader at the start of play, but halved the deficit with a stunning 66 on the back of some hot putting which gave her six birdies.

She will pair up with Lewis today in front of the home crowd at the Siam Country Club in Pattaya.

Spain’s Beatriz Recari was joined by Korean Ryu So-yeon and Scottish veteran Catriona Matthew poised just four shots off the pace on 136.

Recent graduate Ryu, who has already collected more than US$1.2 million career earnings, spared a few words for her university after her flawless 68, revealing she carries its logo on her watch for inspiration.

“So it’s all about my university. I think my university give me a lot of energy,” she said.

Elsewhere, 15-year-old New Zealand amateur Lydia Ko had a mixed round, but ended on an a promising 140.

She was three shots ahead of world No. 1 Tseng Yani, who bounced back after a miserable first day with four birdies to finish on 143, a distance from the leader, but a major improvement from a dismal round one.

Tseng’s compatriot, Candie Kung, shot a seven-over 78 to be tied for 66th place.

Additional reporting by staff writer