Munoz, Nordqvist lead in Taiwan; Tseng 2 back
YANG MEI, Taiwan – Azahara Munoz of Spain shot a 6-under 66 Friday to share the lead with Anna Nordqvist of Sweden after the second round of the inaugural LPGA Taiwan Championship.
Nordqvist had a 68 to finish tied with Munoz on 7-under 137, two shots ahead of top-ranked Yani Tseng (71) and fellow Taiwanese Candie Kung (68).
Munoz eagled the sixth hole and added four birdies in a bogey-free round. Nordqvist mixed five birdies with one bogey.
“I was hitting the ball really well. I missed a few greens but I was still putting,” Munoz said. “I putted 18 times today, so I gave myself a lot of chances. I made a nice eagle on six, so that helped, too.”
The 22-year-old Tseng shared the overnight lead but only managed a 71 Friday at the Sunrise Golf and Country Club. Tseng has been cheered on by large and exuberant crowds in her home country, although a few fans apparently haven’t read up on golf etiquette.
“It’s the first time in my life that I’ve seen so many people all over the golf course,” Tseng said. “Between the fifth and sixth hole, I was about to the hit the ball, and someone took a photo. The timing is actually wrong, you can take photos before or after we hit a ball. But we hope they can do everything to avoid that while we’re hitting.”
Katie Futcher (70) of the United States was among three players who are five shots behind the leaders. Cristie Kerr (73) and Se Ri Pak (69) were another stroke back.
Kung put herself in contention with a round of five birdies and a bogey. She hopes to one day overtake the more famous Tseng, who won Player of the Year honors for the second straight year.
“It’s golf, so anything can happen,” the 91st-ranked Kung said. “I’m more like a big sister for her and very happy for her. To make this tournament possible, she played a big part.”
It’s the first time the LPGA has held a tournament in Taiwan.