Yang goes two clear at Sime Darby LPGA
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
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: