Golf: Youthful trio share LPGA Bahamas lead

(From left) Megan Khang, Haru Nomura and Charley Hull during the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic.
(From left) Megan Khang, Haru Nomura and Charley Hull during the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic.PHOTOS: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - American teen Megan Khang fired a five-under par 68 on Friday to grab a share of the LPGA Pure Silk Bahamas lead alongside Japan's Haru Nomura and England's Charley Hull at Paradise Island.

Nomura and Hull, both part of a seven-way tie for the overnight lead, signed for 70s to reach eight-under 138 on a day when winds gusted up to 48kmh.

"I've never played the golf course with that wind before. It was a completely opposite direction," Hull said. "So it was good fun to play in that direction ... just got to keep patient out there.

"I enjoyed it, I thought it was fun," she said.

Khang, 18 and playing her first event as an LPGA Tour member, is the youngest member of a youthful leading trio. Hull is 19 and Nomura 23.

"I think my game's at a good place right now, and I definitely think I can hold my own," said Khang, whose round included an eagle at the par-five fourth as well as four birdies and one bogey on the back nine.

Nomura's three-under effort included six birdies and three bogeys, while Hull notched four birdies and one bogey.

Defending champion Kim Sei Young climbed up the leader board with a 68, leading a group on 139 that also included Sweden's Anna Nordqvist (69), South Korean Kwak Min Seo (70) and Scotland's Catriona Matthew (71).

Kim said she had felt the pressure on Thursday, when she fired a 71.

"I tried to keep calm and last night I talked to my mum and she told me, 'Sei Young, calm down'," Kim said, adding the advice was "a little help".

She also took some practical steps on the practice green.

"I changed my stroke timing slower and that's better," said Kim, who had needed 27 putts on Friday compared to 34 on Thursday. "Slower follow through - that worked today."

While youth ruled at the top of the leader board, 38-year-old Cristie Kerr made waves, too, matching the tournament record with a 65.

After an opening 77, she jumped from tied for 95th to tied for 13th.

"Yeah, after yesterday it wasn't looking good. A very difficult day and I just came out and did it," said Kerr, whose round included an eagle at the par-five 18th, seven birdies and a bogey.