Golf-Patty surges into lead at halfway stage in Thailand

FILE PHOTO: Apr 4, 2021; Rancho Mirage, California, USA; Patty Tavatanakit putts on the 18th hole during the final round of the ANA Inspiration golf tournament at Rancho Mirage Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - Thailand's Patty Tavatanakit fired a flawless eight-under-par 64 to take a three-stroke lead over compatriot Atthaya Thitikul at the halfway stage of the Honda LPGA Thailand on Friday.

Patty, the joint-overnight leader with Atthaya, carded six birdies in the second round and sank a 10-foot eagle putt after a brilliant approach shot on the 18th hole to go 16-under for the tournament at Siam Country Club in Chon Buri province.

The 21-year-old ANA Inspiration winner was locked in a tight battle for much of the day with Atthaya, who had an eagle of her own in the seventh and bogeyed on 17 to finish the round with a 67, but remains in the hunt for a maiden LPGA Tour title.

Germany's Caroline Masson was in third place after a steady round of 66 to match her effort on Thursday, while Mexico's Gaby Lopez, New Zealand's Lydia Ko and Denmark's Nanna Koerstz Madsen were tied for fourth.

Amy Yang, who has won three of her four LPGA titles at the Thailand tournament including the 2019 edition, fired a spotless round of 65 to sit in seventh place alongside fellow South Korean Park Hee-young.

Australia's Hannah Green, the runner-up to South Korea's Kim Hyo-joo at the HSBC Women's World Championship in Singapore last week, endured a disappointing outing with 71 although she managed to extend her streak of under-par rounds to 18.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Tom Hogue)

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