Park leads LPGA event with Feng one adrift


AFP

WATERLOO, Canada — South Korean Inbee Park fired a 7-under par 64 on Friday to seize a one-stroke lead in the second round of the storm-interrupted US$1.3 million Manulife Financial LPGA Classic. Needing only 22 putts, Park made eight birdies against a lone bogey to stand on 9-under par 133 after 36 holes, one stroke ahead of American Brittany Lang, South Korean Hee Kyung Seo and China’s Feng Shanshan. “I played great today,” Park said. “I hit the ball very well and especially hit my short irons really good, so gave myself a lot of opportunities and obviously putted very good.” Feng is coming off her first LPGA triumph, her victory two weeks ago at the LPGA Championship. She became the first Chinese golfer to capture a major title. A storm Thursday forced the first round to be completed on Friday morning and the second round nearly beat the darkness, but seven players will have to return to Grey Silo Golf Course on Saturday morning to complete their final one or two holes. None was within seven strokes of the lead. Park birdied the par-4 second and par-3 third holes and added another at the par-5 fifth before taking her lone bogey at the par-5 sixth. But she bounced back by closing the front nine with back-to-back birdies. She birdied three of the last five holes on the back nine, including the par-5 18th, to pull atop the leaderboard. “The greens were softer so I think it was really scoring conditions today,” Park said. Seo, last year’s LPGA rookie of the year, took a double bogey at the 17th to stumble from a share of the lead but birdied the 18th to move within a stroke of her compatriot. “The wind was blowing hard, really hard from left to right, but I thought it was the right club,” Seo said of the double-bogey.

“The ball dropped down. It kicked to the right and I couldn’t find the ball. I dropped a ball at the hazard line and a double-bogey. But it’s OK. It’s only the second round.”