Ryu takes 2-stroke halfway lead in Malaysia


KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia–South Korea’s So Yeon-ryu shot a 6-under 65 on Friday to take a two-stroke in the LPGA Malaysia, the second event of the tour’s six-tournament Asian swing.

Ryu birdied five of her first seven holes in hot conditions and finished with seven birdies and a bogey to reach 11-under 131 at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.

“I’m very suited for this golf course I think, especially front nine,” Ryu said. “It’s really hot today, so back nine, my energy level was so low, so my game wasn’t enough great if I compared to front nine. “

Ryu won the Canadian Women’s Open in August for her third LPGA Tour title. She also finished second in the Marathon Classic in July and has 11 top-10 finishes this season.

“My psychologist and I found out my problem is I want to control everything on the golf course,” Ryu said. “I’m human. I cannot control everything … I think I’m playing pretty consistent.”

Japan’s Akayo Uehara, New Zealand’s Lydia Ko and England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff and South Korea’s Eun Hee-ji were tied for second. Uehara had a 63, Ko and Ewart Shadoff shot 64, and Ji had a 67.

“My putting was so good.” Uehara said. “I made many birdies and I had a chip-in, too. So good round today.”

“I guess playing at 8 in the morning it (the weather) is OK, but as the day goes on it gets warmer.” Ko said. “The last holes are kind of crucial because you kind of lose concentration because it’s getting hotter. I tried to stay cool with the umbrella and the cool towel.”

Ewart Shadoff had the lowest round of her LPGA Tour career.

“I just started working with David Leadbetter about four months ago, and it’s really helped both my swing and my short game.” Ewart Shadoff said. “I really can see massive improvements.”

Top-ranked Stacy Lewis, the first-round leader after a 65, had a 71 to drop into a tie for 11th at 6 under.

Defending champion Lexi Thompson was tied for 56th at 2 over after a 73.