Yang sizzles with 66

Amy Yang, shooting from a bunker on the ninth hole during the second round of the US Women's Open, could be on her way to claiming her first Major triumph after posting a three-shot lead at the halfway stage.
Amy Yang, shooting from a bunker on the ninth hole during the second round of the US Women's Open, could be on her way to claiming her first Major triumph after posting a three-shot lead at the halfway stage.PHOTO: REUTERS

Up by 3 shots, her halfway tally at US Women's Open is also 2nd-lowest in tourney's history

LANCASTER (Pennsylvania) • Amy Yang rolled in four consecutive birdies on her way to a four-under 66 to seize a three-stroke lead after Friday's second round of the US Women's Open.

The South Korean stood on seven-under 133 after 36 holes at Lancaster Country Club, recording the second-lowest halfway score in tournament history as she pressed for her first Major title.

The golfer has recorded six top-five finishes in Majors but has never won a Major crown.

Her closest effort came when she was runner-up at the 2012 US Women's Open.

The only lower first 36 holes in tournament history came in 1994 when Sweden's Helen Alfredsson fired a 132.

Yang birdied the 11th through 14th holes to take control, hitting 15 greens in regulation while missing only two fairways.

"I'm hitting it very solid throughout the week and it's important to keep the ball on the fairway, especially this big, long rough," she said.

"I had good fairway regulation. Just mostly my swing was really good," added the 25-year-old.

Yang, ranked 15th, has never won a title in the US.

She has taken two wins each on the European and South Korean Tours and bagged her two LPGA titles in South Korea in 2013 and earlier this year in Thailand.

She welcomed the difficult course set-ups which are typical of US Women's Opens.

"I just enjoy it out here," Yang said. "And I know the golf courses are very tough.

"And I make sure I'm patient on the course. Just enjoy the tough condition of the golf courses."

Sharing second on 136 were American Stacy Lewis and Japan's Shiho Oyama, with American Marina Alex another stroke back.

World No. 1 Park In Bee of South Korea was among six players on 138, a pack that also included Australian Karrie Webb, Japan's Rumi Yoshiba, South Korean Chun In Gee as well as Americans Morgan Pressel and Jane Park.

Lewis, who began on the back nine, had three birdies on the front side of the course to remain in the hunt for honours.

"I just started playing golf," she said. "I was thinking a lot those first 10, 11 holes, thinking a lot about my golf swing and just not playing.

"So I got to just playing golf. I hit the irons today, probably the best I've hit them in a really long time, so it was really nice."

Breezy winds, trickier pins and deceptively soft, slower greens confused the early wave of players when the second round started.

Among those missing the cut were former champion Cristie Kerr, who shot 73 for eight-over 148, and Brittany Lincicome (149), a Major winner this year.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

US WOMEN'S OPEN

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 12, 2015, with the headline 'Yang sizzles with 66'. Print Edition | Subscribe