World No. 1 Stacy Lewis extended her overnight lead by a single shot in Round Two of the Reignwood LPGA Classic in Beijing today, to put her two shots clear of fellow American Brittany Lang, on 12 under par at the half way stage of the tournament.
After an uncharacteristic bogey on the first hole, Lewis played some consistent golf picking up three birdies on the front nine holes followed by a further three on the back including the last hole of the day.
Speaking after her round she said, “It was a day that I just had to stay patient. Even coming in I could have made a few more birdies. Didn't quite hit the shots around the greens that I needed to. Shot five under and made six birdies today, so it's a good day.”
But the story of the day belonged to fellow American Brittany Lang. Tied for fifth overnight, she equaled the low round of the day of 66 on the par 73 course to close within two shots of Lewis, ending the day at ten under par.
Said Lang, “Yeah, I played really well. I like this course a lot. I didn't get off to the start that I would've liked to. I stuck it close on [hole] two and missed it, so didn’t capitalize early.
“Made a really good par save on six and then from there just made a ton of birdies. I started dialing in my irons and hitting them close. I've been hitting my putter really good for a while now, so kind of an easy, fun day. It's a very scorable course. It's a good golf course. It really is. It's in great shape and every hole is good,” added Lang.
Tied in third place at eight shots under par are Mirim Lee (S. Korea), Caroline Masson (Germany), Belen Mozo (Spain) and Caroline Hedwall (Sweden), with local player Yanhong Pan from China and South Korea’s Ilhee Lee a shot further back at seven under par.
Another player to watch as the tournament heads into the weekend is Suzann Pettersen who equaled Lang’s low round of the day. Having struggled in Round One, finishing at one shot over par, the Norwegian hauled herself back into contention with three birdies on the front nine and four on the back with no bogeys, to end the day tied in ninth place.
Comparing her first two rounds, the World No. 4 said, “I don't know. I played some good golf yesterday. I had six birdies or something and shot 1 over, which is kind of a disaster. Then I made a mess out of two of the par 5s. I’m just trying to build a game for the stretch coming up.
“I don't know if I was a little bit rusty and not sharp enough from not having played for quite a few weeks and it kind of got to me a little bit on certain holes. Today I hit the driver really good and made the putts when I needed to,” added Pettersen.
Flying the flag for China is local player Yanhong Pan. The former power lifter, who leads the China LPGA Order of Merit, shot five under par including four consecutive birdies on holes 15 to 18 to get within five shots of the lead. Meanwhile defending champion and World No. 9 Shanshan Feng shot two under par to leave her at even par with a lot of ground to make up if she is to repeat last year’s heroics.
But the day belonged to the two Americans at the top of the leader board, setting up the prospect of a Texas showdown on Saturday. Asked how it would feel going out with Lewis on Round Three, Lang added:
“Yeah, I will say it's a little bit intimidating. I've known Stacy for a long time. I've known her since being in middle school, high school from Texas. She was a late bloomer at college and now a world beater.
“We're really good friends though and I have a lot of respect for her on the golf course. Yeah, definitely going to be out of my element, a little intimidated. She's a great player. But at the same time, I'm trying to get better, too. So playing with her, watching her, and trying to play well and do my thing is going to make me better. Maybe I can learn something from watching her.”
Played on the Nicklaus Course at the Pine Valley Golf Club from 2 – 5 October 2014, the Reignwood LPGA Classic sees players compete for Asia’s largest prize purse of US$ 2.1m in the 72-hole, no-cut tournament.
The Reignwood LPGA Classic is organized by IMG. For more information, see http://www.reignwoodlpga.com/en/.