Golf: Japan's Nomura leads Swinging Skirts by three shots

Haru Nomura tees off on the 10th hole during round two of the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic, on April 22, 2016.
Haru Nomura tees off on the 10th hole during round two of the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic, on April 22, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

(AFP) - Haru Nomura, who is off to one of the best starts of her career, fired a two-under 70 to take a three-shot lead at the halfway stage of the Swinging Skirts Classic on Friday.

The 23-year-old Nomura took advantage of an afternoon start which meant she avoided the rain that affected the morning group.

She finished 36 holes at nine-under 135 for a three-stroke cushion over Min Jee Lee (65) and Choi Na Yeon (70) who tied for second.

Nomura captured her first win on USLPGA Tour earlier this season at the Women's Australian Open. She followed that up with a top-five performance in Thailand.

Nomura, who turned pro six years ago, had to deal with wind in the afternoon. But she remained composed as she made 11 straight pars before rolling in her first birdie of the day.

"Today was very windy, so I thought today's best score would be even par. I kept my patience and tried to stay relaxed and make a couple of putts," Nomura said.

She rebounded from a bogey at the par four, 16th with a birdie at the 17th hole to stretch her lead to three.

Nomura's best finish in the Swinging Skirts is a tie for 21st in 2014.