LPGA rookie Ha Na Jang emerged as the surprise halfway leader at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia, carding a superb second round 65 in brilliant, haze-free weather at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club (KLGCC).
“I think today my tee shots were perfect and so was my putting. I finished strongly and it was a really good score” said Jang, who played on the Korea LPGA Tour for five seasons and was the tour’s Player of the Year in 2013.
China’s Xi Yu Lin shot a solid 68 to lie in second place, just one shot adrift on nine-under-par. Three players – World No 1 Inbee Park of Korea who won here in 2012, former World No 1 Yani Tseng of Chinese Taipei and American rookie Alison Lee who co-led the first round with Lin – occupy joint third place a further stroke behind.
Defending champion Shanshan Feng of China hit her approach at the par-four 18th into the water and suffered a double bogey, which dropped her into joint sixth position on seven-under-par with Australian sensation Minjee Lee along with Koreans Amy Yang and Chella Choi.
World No 2 Lydia Ko of New Zealand meanwhile climbed up the leaderboard into joint 10th place on six-under-par after an excellent 65.
The best-placed Malaysian was the country’s top golfer, Kelly Tan, who carded a 74 to lie in joint 50th place on two-over-par.