US Women’s Open: Trump vis­its, China’s Feng leads

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTING LIFE - TOM CANA­VAN

Shan­shan Feng opened a two-shot lead Fri­day af­ter two rounds of a U.S. Women’s Open that got its first visit from a sit­ting pres­i­dent.

Fresh from a Bastille Day cel­e­bra­tion in Paris, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump pulled into his Trump Na­tional Golf Club around 3:40 p.m., vis­ited his pres­i­dent’s box next to the 14th green less than two hours later and played to the crowd, wav­ing at the fans, giv­ing them the thumbs up and pump­ing his fist.

That’s what a pres­i­dent can do for crowds not used to be­ing within a 100 yards of one. Many crit­ics of the pres­i­dent had hoped he would stay away from the $5 mil­lion tour­na­ment be­cause of his com­ments about women and the fear that he would steal the spot­light.

Only three sit­ting pres­i­dents have at­tended USGA events with War­ren G. Hard­ing (1921) and Bill Clin­ton (1997) go­ing to the U.S. Open.

Feng was the star on the course for the sec­ond straight day. The 27year-old Chi­nese player shot a 2un­der 70 and had a 36-hole to­tal of 8-un­der 136 on the 6,732-yard course that played even longer be­cause of rain over the past two days.

Amy Yang of South Korea con­tin­ued her good play in the Women’s Open and re­mained in sec­ond place, al­though her deficit grew to two shots af­ter a 71. Yang has four top-five fin­ishes in this event in the past five years.

Jeongeun6 Lee, who has had a win and 10 top-10 fin­ishes on the KLPGA Tour, shared sec­ond af­ter post­ing a sec­ond straight 69. Lee uses the “6” af­ter her first name be­cause there are six other South Korean play­ers with the same name.

Hye-Jin Choice, a 17-year-old from South Korea who is the world’s sec­ond-ranked am­a­teur, also was at 6-un­der af­ter a sec­ond straight 69. She was tied with Feng at 8 un­der af­ter 15 holes, but bo­geyed two of her next three holes to fall back.

Seon Woo Bae, a win­ner in South Korea last year, was alone in fifth place at 5 un­der af­ter a 69. To­pranked So Yeon Ryu (72) and 2015 win­ner In Gee Chun (70) topped the group at 4 un­der, while Ma­rina Alex (70) of Wayne, New Jersey was the top Amer­i­can at 3 un­der. Ly­dia Ko (73) and Brooke Hen­der­son (71) also were 3 un­der.

Ear­lier in the day, 2014 win­ner Michelle Wie with­drew be­cause of a neck in­jury. She shot a 73 on Thurs­day and stopped on her sec­ond hole the next day. Among those miss­ing the cut at 2 over were Brit­tany Lin­ci­come, who said two weeks ago that Trump should not at­tend the tour­na­ment so the fo­cus would be on the golfers, and Danielle Kang, who two weeks ago won the KPMG Women’s PGA. Se­con­dranked Ariya Ju­tanu­garn and twotime Open cham­pion In­bee Park also missed the cut.

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