Golf roundup: Amy Yang’s eagle stretches lead at LPGA Malaysia
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Amy Yang holed a pitching wedge for eagle on the par-4 11th hole and stretched her lead to three strokes Friday in the hot, humid and stormy Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia.
The South Korean had a 2-under 69 at TPC Kuala Lumpur, a day after shooting 63 to miss her own course record by a stroke. She parred the first 10, then hit the approach that landed on the front of the green, hopped and rolled in.
“It was about 125 yards, like helping downwind,” Yang said. “I hit my pitching wedge, just full pitching wedge to the pin, and it came off really solid off the face.”
Anna Nordqvist, Mi Jung Hur and Candie Kung were tied for second after the round that was delayed about two hours because of lightning — accompanied by periods of heavy rain.
Nordqvist had a 68, and Hur and Kung each shot 65. Kung chipped in for birdie on the par-4 18th.
Wayne native Marina Alex shot a 1-over 72 but still is among the top 10 at 5-under after two rounds at TPC Kuala Lumpur’s East Course.
“There were some tough pin placements out there, a lot tougher than yesterday,” Kung said. “Yesterday, I didn’t make any putts at all. But today, luckily, they all went in.”
Yang made her first bogey after hitting into the water on the par-4 14th.
“Golf can be really easy like yesterday, but it can be also a little slow like today,” Yang said. “I’m just going to be patient, do my best.”
She returned from the rain delay — and lunch — to hole a 20-footer for birdie on the par-5 16th.
Michelle Wie hung around following her opening 66 with a 70 to drop four strokes behind. Ha Na Jang (67), Azahara Munoz (70), Jenny Shin (70) and 2014 winner Shanshan Feng (70) joined Wie at 6 under.
SHANGHAI — Hideki Matsuyama made nine birdies in suddenly chilly conditions for a 7-under 65 that gave him a three-shot lead going into the weekend at the HSBC Champions.
The Japanese star has made 19 birdies over 36 holes at Sheshan International. Matsuyama was at 13-under 131.
Defending champion Russell Knox had a 68, while Bill Haas shot a 67.
Murray’s birdie binge
JACKSON, Miss. — Grayson Murray shot a 7-under 65 to take a two-shot lead in the Sanderson Farms Championship.
Murray bogeyed his first hole at No. 10 but then made eight birdies. He had a 12-under 132 total at the Country Club of Jackson. Greg Owen and Seamus Power were tied for second.
Kevin Streelman had a two-shot lead after shooting a 63 in the first round, but struggled to a 73 to fall four strokes behind Murray. Wyckoff’s Morgan Hoffmann shot a 71 and missed the cut.
Couples back on course
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Fred Couples shot a 4-under 68 in his first competitive round in eight months, while Bernhard Langer (knee) withdrew without hitting a shot in the PowerShares QQQ Championship.
Returning from a chronic back injury, Couples had three straight birdies on the back nine at Sherwood in the PGA Tour Champions’ playoff opener. He was tied for eighth, three strokes behind leader Colin Montgomerie.