KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) – So Yeon Ryu birdied five of her first seven holes en route to a six-under-par 65 and a two-stroke lead at the half-way point in the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia tournament on Friday.
The South Korean added two more birdies on the back nine before suffering the only blemish on her card at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club, a bogey on the par-four 14th hole, leaving her at 11-under for the event.
Hot on her heels were a hard-charging trio tied at 9-under, led by Japan’s Ayako Uehara, who orchestrated a bogey-free 63.
England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff and 17-year-old phenomenon Lydia Ko of New Zealand stayed level with Uehara after both shot 64.
South Korea’s Eun-Hee Ji joined them 9-under, while three golfers – Shanshan Feng of China, Azahara Munoz of Spain, and Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum — were a further stroke back.
World number one Stacy Lewis, who held the first-round lead, surrendered it after the American posted an uncharacteristic four bogeys on the front nine on the way to an even-par 71, leaving her five strokes off the lead.
Last year’s winner Lexi Thompson of the United States saw her hopes of a repeat suffer a blow as she struggled Friday to a 73, putting her at two-over for the tournament, well off the pace.
The $2 million tournament is part of a multi-event swing through Asia by the US LPGA.