China’s Lin Xiyu moved within two shots of the lead at the Japan Classic on Friday as the world No 12 goes in search of her first career win.
Lin, who has two runner-up finishes on the LPGA Tour this year, rattled off six birdies to card a bogey-free second round of 66 at the Taiheiyo Club’s Minori Course, around 100km northeast of Tokyo.
That put her on 12-under overall, two strokes behind Japanese leaders Shiho Kuwaki and Nasa Hataoka.
Lin suffered heartbreak at the Women’s PGA Championship in June when she bogeyed the final hole to finish third.
She will have to get past Hataoka, a six-time winner on the LPGA Tour, if she wants to claim her maiden title in Japan.
Hataoka hit seven birdies and one bogey to card a 66 and move into a share of the lead with Kuwaki, who hit the day’s second-best score of 65.
Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Mone Inami and overnight leader Akie Iwai joined Lin two shots further back, while Thailand’s Jasmine Suwannapura moved four shots off the leaders on 10 under.
Suwannapura, who finished third behind France’s Celine Boutier and Thailand’s Atthaya Thitikul at last week’s Maybank Championship in Kuala Lumpur, had an eagle alongside five birdies and a bogey to card a 66.
American Rose Zhang also bagged an eagle but was stuck six strokes off the lead, alongside Scotland’s defending champion Gemma Dryburgh on eight under.
South Korea’s world No 7 Kim Hyo-joo, the highest-ranked player in the competition, shot a 70 to finish the second round at two under, along with South Africa’s Paula Reto, who carded 73.
Ten of the world’s top 30 players are competing as the LPGA Tour finishes its Asian swing with a tournament co-sanctioned with Japan’s JLPGA.
© Agence France-Presse
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