KUALA LUMPUR, OCT 27 – It was a case of déjà vu at TPC Kuala Lumpur today, as defending champion, Shanshan Feng, resumed her position at the top of the leaderboard after a weather-affected round two of the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia.
The Chinese world no.6 shot a flawless 6-under par 65 to lead the tournament by one shot from second placed Madelene Sagstrom of Sweden.
Feng’s love affair with the East Course at TPC Kuala Lumpur has seen her win twice and finish runner-up twice in the last four years.
It’s a record bettered only by her caddy Mercer Leftwich who was on the winner’s bag in the inaugural tournament, won by Jimin Kang, in 2010.
Speaking after her round, Feng said: “Overall today was a very good round. I didn’t have as many birdie chances as yesterday but I think I actually made more putts so that makes me happy! 6-under is a very good score here. I really enjoyed playing with my team mates, Suzann and Madelene.”
Looking ahead to the weekend, she added, “Stick to the plan and do the same thing.”
Sagstrom continues to show impressive form around the East Course. Paired with Feng, the LPGA Tour rookie matched her first-round score with another 5-under par score. If it wasn’t for dropped shots on holes 1 and 2, she would be sitting atop the leaderboard as the tournament heads into the weekend. Speaking about her highest place in an LPGA tournament, she said:
“I feel great. I had a really good run for it after the rain delay and I was really excited to get some good shots back. I started rolling the putter really well. I’m just enjoying it out here. I’m not trying to focus on the leaderboard at the moment. I’m just trying to go out and play good golf and have fun.”
A shot further back in third place, Christie Kerr put in a glorious round of 8-under 63, bringing herself very much into contention. One shot off the course record, the former world no.1 said:
“I felt great. You know, I found a groove with my swing and a feel that I haven’t had in my swing in a while. It felt good to hit some really solid shots out there. I’m just working really hard and I feel very blessed to do what I do. I’ve been one of best for a long time, and very blessed to have that happen. So just got to keep working hard, stick to my game plan and my feels out there and stay out of my own way. That’s the plan.”
Amongst the Malaysian players, amateur Winnie Ng continues to impress. Starting on the 10th tee, the 16-year-old got off to a strong start with birdies on 10, 15 and 16. Double bogeys on 2 and 3 slowed her progress, but she retained her composure to pick up consecutive shots on holes 4 and 5, shooting 1-under par for the day and even-par on aggregate.
Speaking after her round, the Bukit Jalil Golf Club player said:
“Before the rain delay, I had a double and then I had a putt for bogey to go, and then I was really down and sad. So I went back to the club and I ate a lot. I ate cake. I drank a lot. I told myself, ‘you know, sometimes bad things happen, but it’s the way you respond to it. You have a choice to feel good or feel bad. Just go there and have no expectation and just play your game.’
“After that, I just hit to the pin. I don’t know how, I was aiming to the green and the ball just goes to the pin. I managed to putt the ball in and I’m really happy.”
Three shots behind her is fellow 16-year-old Natasha Oon, who shot a 2-over par 73 in round two, to leave her on 3-over par on aggregate. Kelly Tan recovered from her round one disappointment, shooting an impressive 4-under for the day, leaving her and spectators wondering what might have been.
Round two was interrupted by a weather delay from 11.10am to 3pm.