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Friday October 11, 2013 MYT 6:49:00 PM
Friday October 11, 2013 MYT 6:58:26 PM
by s. ramaguru
South Korean Lee Ilhee holds a one-shot lead at the Sime Darby LPGA after shooting a six-under 65 at KLGCC on Friday for a two-day total of 13-under 129. BERNAMAPhoto
A NEAR-flawless six-under 65 was enough to keep South Korean Lee Ilhee atop the leaderboard after the second round of the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (KLGCC) on Friday.
Ilhee, who shot a course record-equalling seven-under 64 on Thursday, has a two-round total of 13-under 129 for a one-shot lead over Lexi Thompson.
The 18-year-old American carded an impressive eight-under 63 to briefly hold the course record before South Korean Amy Yang went one better – firing a nine-under 62 to take the honours.
China’s Feng Shanshan stayed in touch with the leaders with a 65 to be just three strokes adrift of Ilhee. Four strokes behind are I.K. Kim of South Korea and American Paula Creamer. Amy and Mamiko Higa of Japan are a stroke further adrift on 134.
World No. 39 Ilhee was almost flawless in her game as she chalked off birdies in the first, fourth, fifth, seventh, ninth, 11th and 13th holes. Her only blemish came when she bogeyed the 16th.
Ilhee was happy with her game, saying she tried to play three-under for the day.
“I tried to do the same thing that I did in the first round. I hit it good today and putted good as well.
“I did have a bogey on the 16th hole. I pulled the driver and chipped out. It was okay but I pushed the third shot,” said 25-year-old Ilhee, who felt that the 20-minute of rain later in the day did not really affect her game.
Thompson, however, was the surprise package of the day as she bounced back from a bogey on the third hole to finish with an eight-under 63.
The teenager even fired an eagle on the 14th hole and, coupled with seven birdies, was able to cancel out the lone bogey.
“I shot two-under in the front and was quite steady. But in the back nine it started with birdies on the 11th and 13th and an eagle on the 14th. It was all about the momentum. I had it going pretty much my way. I just tried to keep confident out there ... focusing on one shot at a time,” said Thompson.
Shanshan, who won the Reignwood LPGA Classic in Beijing last week, turned in another bogey-free round to move into third spot.
The Chinese ace, who scored a 67 in the opening round, birdied six holes to finish with a six-under-65 on Friday for two-day total of nine-under 132.
Her birdies came on the second, sixth, ninth, 10th, 11th and 18th holes.
Shanshan said that she had aimed for a high score.
“I was happy with the same pairing as the first round with I.K. Kim and Christie Kerr. I had told my caddie and Kim’s that we should go out with a 10-under.
“The rain did not affect the greens although I was a bit apprehensive ... thinking it might have made it a little softer. Still, I’m feeling good about my game and hope to keep the momentum going,” said Shanshan, who will be paired with Ilhee and Thompson in today’s third round.
Korea’s Amy, whose record score propelled her to joint sixth with Mamiko, was delighted with her performance.
“Yeah, I would say it was a great round, you know? First of all, it was a great round. But I’ve shot 10-under before ... but it was the Mini Tour. This is my best on the LPGA Tour and it feels great,” she said.
Tags / Keywords:
Lee Ilhee, golf, Sime Darby LPGA, Lexi Thompson, Feng Shanshan, Amy Yang, Christie Kerr, Paula Creamer, KLGCC
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