Golf: Nicole Larsen, Aditi Ashok, Gaby Lopez top storm-hit LPGA Texas Classic

Nicole Broch Larsen playing a tee shot during the LPGA Texas Classic on May 5, 2018. PHOTO: AFP/GETTY IMAGES

CHICAGO (AFP) - Denmark's Nicole Broch Larsen seized a one-stroke lead with three birdies and no bogeys in the first 14 holes of her second round Saturday (May 5) at the storm-hit LPGA Texas Classic.

Only nine players finished their second rounds at The Colony before darkness fell on the event, which was trimmed to 36 holes by officials after heavy rain wiped out almost all play Thursday and Friday. Round one ended late Saturday.

Larsen, a 24-year-old Dane seeking her first LPGA title, opened with a four-under 67 and began on the back nine in round two, making birdies at the par-5 11th, par-4 17th and par-5 fourth holes to reach 7-under par with four holes to play in her second round.

India's Aditi Ashok and Mexico's Gaby Lopez were at 6-under in their second rounds while South Koreans Jenny Shin and Park Sung-hyun had yet to start their final rounds after opening on 6-under 65.

Ashok, seeking her first LPGA title sank a 12-foot par putt at the par-3 14th to stand on 6-under when play was halted, also needing to finish four holes on Sunday.

After answering a bogey at the third with a birdie at the fourth, Ashok made five birdies in six holes to leap into contention for her first LPGA victory.

The 20-year-old from Bangalore birdied the par-3 seventh and par-5 eighth before closing the front side with a bogey, then began the back side with three birdies in a row.

Lopez, who fired a first-round 68, made a day-ending birdie at the par-5 11th to reach 6-under after opening the back nine with a bogey.

She began the second-round bogey-birdie but followed with birdies at the fourth, fifth and eighth.

A pack of 11 players shared sixth on 4-under, including five players who will have to play 18 holes Sunday - China's Liu Yu, Germany's Sandra Gal, American Jane Park and South Koreans Kim Sei-young and Ko Jin-young.

Six others had from three to six holes remaining in their second round, including Canada's Brooke Henderson, American Katie Burnett and Australian Minjee Lee through 15 holes, Thailand's Moriya Jutanugarn and South Korean Chun In-gee after 13 holes and American Mo Martin after 12.

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