Lee played her first nine holes 5-under par and extended her lead to as large as four strokes. But a blazing back-nine by Thompson cut the lead to one shot heading into the weekend. Lee said her goal each day was to aim for 3-under and said she has surpassed her own expectations the first two days.
“I did,” said Lee. “I tried to do exactly the same thing as yesterday. So my goal was 3 under par today. Then, yeah, I putted good and made more, so it was fun.”
Lee, who has one bogey through 36 holes, said she hasn’t been hitting it particularly well but her putter has been making up for it. She had 26 putts in the first round and 27 on Friday and ranks tied for third this week in putts.
“I did mistakes a lot, actually,” said Lee. “I missed shots a little bit, but the putt was good, so I saved a lot.
Lee is playing for her second-career win and second this season. She won the inaugural Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic in May.
Thompson had three birdies and one bogey on the front nine and made the turn five shots off the lead. But an impressive back nine that included a streak of four birdies and an eagle pushed the 18-year old up the leaderboard. Lee dropped her only shot of the day on the par 5 16th hole to cut the lead to one shot.
“It was all about momentum,” said Thompson. “On the back nine I made a few birdies and then I had that eagle, so I pretty much just had it going my way. I just tried to keep confident out there. Focused on one shot at a time.”
Thompson is coming off a third-place finish at the Tour’s final major at the Evian Championship and had three weeks at home in Florida. But the Coral Springs native was forced to take a break from swinging the clubs.
“I actually got my wisdom teeth out the week I got back, so I had to take a whole week off pretty much, but I definitely needed a break,” said Thompson. “I figured I'd go home, relax and practice up for these last few events of the year. I came into this week feeling ready and just confident about it.”
Amy Yang set a new tournament record for 18 holes after she finished Friday’s second round with a 9-under 62 on the East Course at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club. Her round included 10 birdies and one bogey and was Yang’s career-low score by two shots and best round this season by four strokes. The round jumped the South Korean from T48 at the start of the day into a tie for sixth.
“I would say it was a great round, you know?” said Yang. “First of all, it was a great round. But I've shot 10 under before, but it was the Mini Tour, but this is my best on the LPGA Tour, and it feels great.”
Rolex Rankings No. 1 Inbee Park shot even-par 71 and dropped into a tie for 39th at 1-under par. No. 2 Suzann Pettersen (67-68) is six shots back at 7-under par while No. 3 Stacy Lewis (69-68) is in a tie for 16th and eight shots back.
Topics: Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia