Golf: World No. 1 Park Sung-hyun shares Kia Classic halfway lead with Thai Thidapa in California

Korea's Park Sung-hyun hits her tee shot on the fourth hole during the second round of the Kia Classic at the Aviara Golf Club on March 29, 2019.
Korea's Park Sung-hyun hits her tee shot on the fourth hole during the second round of the Kia Classic at the Aviara Golf Club on March 29, 2019.PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES/AFP

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - World No. 1 Park Sung-hyun fired a six-under par 66 on Friday (March 29) to seize a share of the halfway lead alongside Thailand's Thidapa Suwannapura at the LPGA Kia Classic.

The South Korean teed off on No. 10 at Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad, California, and after two birdies in her first nine holes made a big move with four birdies in the space of five holes after the turn.

"Overall, I'm pretty happy with my play today, especially the bogey-free two days in a row," said 25-year-old Park, a winner in Singapore at the HSBC Women's World Championship last month.

"The course is not easy actually. The fairways are pretty narrow and the greens are very soft and line is pretty hard to see for me."

Thidapa had three birdies on each side to also sign for a 66 and join Park on 10-under 134.

"Those greens are not that easy," said the 26-year-old Thai, who is also bogey-free over the first two rounds. "Just play solid and hopefully keep making birdies."

The leading duo were one stroke in front of overnight leader Chella Choi, who carded a 70, and fellow South Korean Park In-bee, who posted a 67.

"It was a really good day out there," former world No. 1 Park said. "My putter really worked well. Hit the ball pretty solid last couple days."

Choi was pleased with a "really good comeback" after two early bogeys.

Australian Minjee Lee, the 2017 winner, carded a 69 to head a group on 137 that also included Colombia's Mariajo Uribe (69), Spain's Azahara Munoz (68) and Mexico's Gaby Lopez (70).