Yang goes two clear at Sime Darby LPGA

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

AMY YANG (pix) took the lead on the first day of the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia af­ter the South Korean golfer grabbed a two-stroke lead in Kuala Lumpur yeste­day.

Michelle Wie had her best score in more than a year as Ly­dia Ko had to fight to get back to even par in her first event since fir­ing her cad­die.

Yang shot an 8-un­der 63 yes­ter­day in hot and hu­mid con­di­tions for a two-stroke lead over Amer­i­can Ma­rina Alex. The 27-year-old South Korean player birdied all four par-3 holes.

“Sim­ple, just keep it sim­ple,” Yang said. “And try to get as much shade as I can.”

Wie opened with a 66, break­ing 70 for only the fourth time in 68 rounds this year. Win­less in 57 tour­na­ments since the 2014 US Women’s Open, she’s com­ing off a sea­son-best 10th-place tie last week in China in the Blue Bay LPGA.

The top-ranked Ko birdied the par-5 18th for a 71. She had a dou­ble bo­gey on the par-4 sec­ond.

“Re­ally clumsy dou­ble,” Ko said. “I hit a great drive and then I just leaked a shot in the water. The rest of the day I was just try­ing to fight back and put my­self in po­si­tion un­der par. And I got back into good po­si­tion and I hit it in the water again.

“So, that wasn’t good. But ob­vi­ously to fin­ish up the round with a birdie on 18 was good. To bring it back to even, I think it could have been much worse.”

China’s Shan­shan Feng, the 2014 win­ner, was at 66 along with Wie, Nor­way’s Suzann Pet­tersen, Amer­i­can Mo Martin, Spain’s Aza­hara Munoz and South Korea’s Jenny Shin.

Sec­ond-ranked Ariya Ju­tanu­garn, paired with Ko and fifth-ranked Brooke Hen­der­son was at 68.

Stacy Lewis shot a 70 in her first event since mid-Septem­ber. Win­less in 60 starts since June 2014, the 11-time tour cham­pion had a triple bo­gey on the par-4 11th. She has 11 run­ner-up fin­ishes dur­ing the drought. De­fend­ing cham­pion Jes­sica Korda ended yes­ter­day with 71. – Agen­cies Lead­ing scores af­ter the first round of the US$1.8 mil­lion (RM7.53) Sime Darby LPGA tour­na­ment in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Thurs

day:

Amy Yang (KOR); Ma­rina Alex (USA); Suzann Pet­tersen (NOR), Aza­hara Munoz (ESP), Jenny Shin (KOR), Mo Martin (USA), Michelle Wie (USA), Shan­shan Feng (CHN); Karine Icher (FRA), Danielle Kang ( USA), Anna Nordqvist (SWE); Brit­tany L i nci c ome (USA), Ariya Ju­tanu­garn (THA).

63: 65: 68:

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