Kuala Lumpur, October 12 – Na Yeon Choi moved a step closer towards retaining her Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia title when she grabbed the halfway lead after a second round of four-under-par-67.
Once again displaying amazing accuracy with her irons, the slender South Korean lies on 10-under-par 132 after two rounds at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club’s East Course, two shots head of unheralded American Sydney Michaels.
“I think I had a pretty good round today. I had two bogeys, but I think I’m still in pretty good position,” said Choi, holder of six LPGA titles to-date including one Major in this year’s US Women’s Open.
“I really like to play this golf course and I have a lot of confidence. Today I hit a lot of good shots with my irons. I’m really looking forward to this week to get good results like last year,” she added.
Meanwhile, Michaels surged up the leaderboard with a stellar round of 65 that included five birdies on the trot from Hole 11. The 24-year-old posted a two-day total of 134, one shot clear of Norwegian stalwart Suzanne Pettersen who carded the day’s lowest round of 64, Japanese duo Momoko Ueda and Mika Miyazato, and American Lizette Salas.
“I definitely got on a roll and I gave myself good birdie chances every time. I made the putts so I was rolling the ball really well today,” noted Michaels, who is playing in her first season on the LPGA Tour after graduating from the secondary Symetra Tour last season.
“You know, I’ve had some good practice this year being in contention going into the weekend, so I’m hoping I can learn from those experiences I have. Hopefully it will be my week,” she added.
Best among the Malaysians was amateur Aretha Pan Henrg, who shot her second successive 73 to lie in 52nd spot on four-over-par. Malaysia’s top professional Jean Chua carded 73 to move up into 57th place on six-over-par.
It was a tough day at the office for the two other Malaysians in the field. Ainil Johani Bakar dropped down the standings into 65th place on 11-over-par after an erratic 80, while junior Sarfina Vinota signed in an 84 to prop up the field in 70th spot on 23-over-par.
Round 2 Leading Scores:
-10 Na Yeon CHOI, 65-67
-8 Sydnee MICHAELS 69-65
-7 Suzann PETTERSEN 71-64, Momoko UEDA 68-67, Lizette SALAS 68-67, Mika MIYAZATO 66-69
-6 Lindsey WRIGHT 70-66, Paula CREAMER 69-67, Catriona MATTHEW 68-68, Sun Young YOO 66-70, Karrie WEBB 65-71