KUALA LUMPUR: Defending champion Feng Shanshan of China fired a bogey-free 65 to lead in the second round of the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia on Friday.
Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom continued her impressive debut in the $1.8 million tournament, firing a five-under-par 66 to sit one shot behind Feng.
America’s Cristie Kerr posted a 63 for the best score of the round and was in third, followed by South Korean Kim Sei-Young, trailing one shot behind in fourth.
New Zealand’s Lydia Ko, who led the field overnight, faltered with four bogeys to finish the day one-over par 72 in tied sixth, alongside tournament debutante Su Oh.
A tropical downpour, which delayed proceedings for close to four hours, did not hamper two-time defending champion Feng.
“I was really relaxed. I had my feet up, and then I was actually taking a nap,” she said.
“I think 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.”
Feng triumphed twice in the event in 2014 and 2016, and is chasing her second victory of the year after her LPGA Volvik Championship title in May.
Sagstrom’s impressive score came despite firing two bogeys in her opening holes, which she said forced her to work harder.
Kerr almost equalled a course record of 62, firing nine birdies.
“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,” she said.
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Sime Darby LPGA scores
Leading second-round scores at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia on Friday (par 71):
131 – Feng Shanshan (CHN) 66-65
132 – Madelene Sagstrom (SWE) 66-66
133 – Cristie Kerr (USA) 70-63
134 – Kim Sei-Young (KOR) 69-65
135 – Danielle Kang (USA) 68-67
136 – Carlota Ciganda (ESP) 70-66, Brittany Lincicome (USA) 69-67, Gaby Lopez (MEX) 68-68, Candie Kung (TPE) 67-69, Nelly Korda (USA) 68-68, Jacqui Concolino (USA) 68-68, Suzann Pettersen (NOR) 67-69, Lydia Ko (NZL) 64-72, Su-Hyun Oh (AUS) 65-71
137 – Stacy Lewis (USA) 71-66, Azahara Munoz (ESP) 72-65, Park Sung-Hyun (KOR) 68-69, Moriya Jutanugarn (THA) 68-69
138 – Haru Nomura (JPN) 70-68, Chun In-Gee (KOR) 72-66, Karine Icher (FRA) 69-69, Ji Eun-Hee (KOR) 66-72