Shanshan Feng and Xi Yu Lin share more than just friendship.
The friends have both found success in Malaysia, with Feng capturing the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia last season with a final round 63. Learning a thing or two from her friend’s low round last year, Lin posted her own career best with a 65 on Thursday to hold a share of the lead at 6-under par.
“I watch her on TV when she play back nine last year,” said Lin. “We didn’t really talk about it, but I think I learn lots about how to play this golf course.”
It was Feng’s father who introduced Lin to the game at eight years of age.
“Shanshan’s dad and my mom are good friends. Actually, at that time he owns junior golf team in my hometown, and then he took me to the range and let me have a try,” said Lin. “So that’s all the story how it begins.”
Lin has been hooked ever since. She joined the LPGA Tour in 2014 and posted a season best tie for ninth at the Cambia Portland Classic. She did one better this season, her best finish coming in a tie for eighth at the Meijer LPGA Classic. Her game has continued to trend upward, posting her best major finish of the season in a T-29 in her last start at the season’s final major, The Evian Championship.
“I’m pretty confident with my game. On the week offs I did a little change on my iron game, so yesterday I was so glad to see it’s still working and still good shot. So today I’m really happy and confident.”
While some have struggled with the hot weather conditions this week with temperatures in the 90’s, Lin says the conditions aren’t that much different from what she experiences at home in China but still made sure to stay hydrated during her round.
“It’s a little hotter today than yesterday for me, but actually because I live in south China, so last two week when I had week off at home the weather is, well the weather was almost the same as this,” said Lin. “I was pretty hot and I drink lots of water. Thank God I finish 18.”
Lin carded a 3-under par 68 on Friday to stay near the top of the leaderboard, one stroke back of leader Ha Na Jang and says putting will be the key to her making a move this weekend in search of her first win on Tour.
“Make more birdies and, well, I had one bogey today and one bogey yesterday, which is pretty good for me, so just wishing I can hole more putts.”
Lin is paired with Jang and World No.1 Inbee Park in the third round. The trio tee off at 9:56 a.m.