ZHUHAI, June 10 (Xinhua) -- Thailand’s Yupaporn Kawinpakorn held it together under windy conditions to post a two-under 70 for a two shot lead through two rounds of the CLPGA Zhuhai Heritage in Guangdong province.
With a thunderstorm delaying the start of play until 10.30am at Zhuhai Golden Gulf Club, Yupaporn moved to the top of the leaderboard with birdies at holes 15 and 17. Through 36 holes at the RMB200,000 China LPGA Tour event she was the lone player in the 65-player field under par at one-under 143.
Chinese amateur Wang Xinying shot three-over 75 to sit equal second with compatriot Xiao Qifeng (75). First-round leader Aretha Pan of Malaysia struggled to a 77 to sit equal fourth with Chinese amateur Dong Linyu (76) and Beijing pro Tian Qi (72) at three strokes back.
Yupaporn, who turned pro last year after an outstanding college career at Kansas University, started the day at four shots back and dropped to two-over with a bogey six at the 545-yard third hole.
The 26-year-old then posted a birdie four at the 471-yard seventh to navigate the Golden Gulf front nine in even par. After five straight pars to start the back nine, her two late birdies moved her atop the leaderboard.
“Today the wind is a lot stronger than yesterday. I told myself I have to play very aggressive in this kind of wind. The wind was crazy but I have played a lot before in this kind of weather,” said Yupaporn who tied for 11th place last week in Wuhan.
“My shots are all better than yesterday. I gave myself a lot of birdie putts. Some iron shots I think I can do better so I will practice more later. The greens are tough to read. They look like flat, but they not actually. You need to look at almost every angle.”
After carding five bogeys over the first 12 holes, Chongqing amateur Wang rebounded for late birdies on the 16th and 18th holes to put herself in contention for her first win against a pro field.
“The two bogeys (on the first two holes) made me lack confidence. There were some deviations from the wind calculation. I missed the greens on those holes and even shot in the water on the second. The following holes I was not decisive enough,” said the 18-year-old who was equal eighth in Wuhan last week.
“On 10th hole, I shot in the water again and chipped over the pin by about 33 feet. But I put the putt in successfully and that let my confidence come back. I got used to the wind on the back nine and my irons were more accurate and got two birdies. Tomorrow I will calm myself down and fix my mistakes, be more decisive.”
CLPGA Tour Order of Merit leader Saranporn Langkulgasettrin shook off the jetlag from competing in last week’s US Women’s Open as the Thai carded an even-par 72 to sit equal seventh with Chinese Taipei’s Weng Li-ting (73) and China’s Li Xiya (76) and Lin Yezhou at four shots off the pace.