Norway’s Suzann Pettersen shot a 7-under 65 on Friday to share the second-round lead with South Korea’s Inbee Park in the LPGA Taiwan Championship.
The winners the last two weeks in the opening events on the tour’s Asian Swing, Pettersen and Park had 10-under 134 totals at the Sunrise Golf and Country Club. Park shot a 69.
Yani Tseng, the top-ranked Taiwanese star who won the tournament last year, was two strokes back along with Scotland’s Catriona Matthew. Tseng shot a 69, and Matthew had a 66.
Pettersen birdied four on her last six holes. She won her ninth LPGA Tour title last week, beating Matthew in a playoff in South Korea.
”I played really solid on the front nine,” Pettersen said. ”I gave myself three good looks on the first three holes, chipped it in on the fourth, and really just tried to stay aggressive, and when I made the turn, I figured it’s time to kind of shift to the fifth gear, and it’s nice when the body reacts to your kind of mind game, and really just tried to stay aggressive and firing at the pins.”
Park won the LPGA Malaysia two weeks ago for her second victory of the year. She also leads the money list and is second in the player of the year standings, 40 points behind the idle Stacy Lewis. Park would earn 30 points with a victory this weekend.
”I mean if I end up getting player of the year, I think that’s the first time as a Korean,” Park said. ”I mean looking at all the Korean players playing, I thought there would have been somebody who would have gotten that, but nobody got it, so I was really surprised with the result. If I would be the first one, it would be a really great honor and it would be a gift for me.”
Tseng closed with a birdie on the 18th hole.
”The crowd goes like crazy,” Tseng said. ”It gave me goose bumps. … But it’s just fun. I mean the crowd give me so much support today and because every time I make a putt, I mean the crowd just goes crazy. I mean they let me keep my smile always going on, and they’re always telling me to keep it up, keep up the good work and always giving me great support. So I’m very appreciative.”
The wind was down for the second straight day.
”I was totally very surprised,” Tseng said. ”It’s always very windy here. I mean you never know. Hopefully, the wind picks up a little bit because I think it will make more challenge.”