Danielle Kang carded a scintillating eight-under-par 64 in round two of the HSBC Women’s World Championship to take a four-shot lead over fellow Americans Nelly Korda and Marina Alex into the weekend at Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore.
Kang raked up four birdies either side of the turn to equal Inbee Park’s tournament record on the New Tanjong course. The 25-year old Californian broke a tooth on Thursday but the incident clearly hasn’t affected her ability to perform out on course.
Speaking after her round, Kang, who combining her maiden tour win with a first Major at last year’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, said: “Never too bad to tie a course record, but that’s interesting to hear. I like that. My game is coming easy right now. There are lots of birdies out there.
I’m more focused on being present and just hitting the shots. I’m hitting it well, rolling the putts well. So, I’m not really worried about the results of how those shots come out. It feels like just a cruising day. Just hit fairways, greens and have a run for a birdie.”
Meanwhile, the Korda sisters will be looking to become only the second pair of sisters to win tournaments on the LPGA Tour – a feat achieved by Annika and Charlotta Sorenstam with back-to-back wins in 2000. With Jessica a winner in Thailand last weekend, younger sister Nelly is well-placed to make a move over the weekend.
Carding a six-under-par 66, the 19-year-old said: “I feel good. Definitely nice to birdie the last hole, and hopefully I’ll keep the momentum into tomorrow.” Speaking about her sister’s influence on tour, she added, “We obviously have a little bit of a sibling rivalry, but everything is very friendly. She does make me want to be a better player, and seeing her win last week after the tough off-season she’s had was definitely very inspiring, and hopefully I can step my game up this week and take it home, but we’ll see.”
Alongside Korda, tied in second place, Marina Alex completes the all-American affair at the top of the leader board. Alex shot 67 in round two that saw her make eight birdies and three bogeys.
Alex said: “I got lucky a little bit. I honestly wasn’t hitting my irons super solid, but the greens here are kind of firm so even mis-hits release and get to the hole, which was good. I just kind of got a little momentum going, even though the ball-striking wasn’t as good as I would have liked it to be, but the putter is rolling all right. Just got to tidy up some of the other stuff.”
Looking ahead to the weekend, Alex added, “I saw Danielle is playing great, so just got to keep pushing. Everyone out here, they are all so solid. I mean, it’s the best players in the world, so you just have to keep making birdie after birdie and see where it puts you.”
Tied in third place at seven-under-par are Minjee Lee of Australia, another American Cristie Kerr and Chella Choi of Korea. Lee’s six-under-par round of 66 consisted of no less than eight birdies and an eagle on the par-five 13th, a double-bogey on four and further bogeys on 10 and 12, pegging back what could have been a formidable score.
Meanwhile, Thai amateur Atthaya Thitikul continues to impress on her HSBC Women’s World Championship tournament debut. The winner of last week’s Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific championship shot a second round of one-under-par 71 to go with her first-round score of 70, leaving her with a share of a highly respectable 23rd place after two rounds.
The US$ 1.5 million purse HSBC Women’s World Championship continues into the weekend with a host of onsite activities for visitors to enjoy at Sentosa Golf Club, Singapore. For more information visit https://www.hsbcgolf.com/womens.