Delay was the word of the day on Friday at the HSBC Women’s World Championship, but six-time LPGA Tour winner Danielle Kang wasn’t fazed a bit. The 30-year-old blitzed the field, carding a bogey-free, 9-under 63 to take a one-shot lead into the weekend, the first time she’s held the 36-hole lead/co-lead since the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio last season. Kang was in control right from the get-go, birdieing the first and third holes and then making two back-to-back birdies on Nos. 5 and 6. She notched another one on the par-5, 8th to turn in 31, and after two pars on the 10th and 11th holes, she made three consecutive birdies on Nos. 12, 13 and 14. Kang recorded her final birdie of the day on the par-5, 16th, closing with two pars to tie her career-low round on the LPGA Tour, which she last shot at the 2021 Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions.
“I stayed really patient. I tried to stay focused on the shot that I was hitting, more so than where I was standing with the score,” said Kang, who hit 14 of 14 fairways and 16 of 18 greens on Friday en route to carding the week’s low round. “I was just trying to stay in the present and focus on what was in front of me, whether it was walking through the mud or whether it was sitting there, waiting for the weather delay. I wasn't really trying to get ahead of myself, and I think I did a really good job.”
A trio of players sit in a tie for second, one back of Kang at -9 through two rounds. Korea’s Hyo Joo Kim won the 2021 edition of the HSBC Women’s World Championship and is once again contending at the Tanjong Course at Sentosa Golf Club, a place that holds many fond memories for the 27-year-old. After opening with a 4-under, 68 on Thursday, Kim fired a 5-under, 67 on Friday, with six birdies and one bogey on the card, putting herself squarely in the mix with the weekend looming large. “I have confidence having won at this course once, but I'm always focused on making myself better,” said Kim, who has hit 16 of 18 greens on back-to-back days in Singapore. “I'm looking forward to challenging myself the next two days to get a better performance than what I have so far already.”
Hawaii’s Allisen Corpuz went low on day two, carding a 7-under, 65 that was highlighted by an eagle on the par-5, 8th. She also made six birdies, including three in a row on Nos. 10, 11 and 12, with one lone blemish on the card that came on hole 15. The 65 ties her career-low round on the LPGA Tour, which she last shot at the 2022 ANNIKA driven by Gainbridge at Pelican. First-round leader Elizabeth Szokol’s putter wasn’t nearly as hot on day two as it was on day one, but the 28-year-old managed to grind out a 1-under, 71 and remains in contention ahead of the weekend.
Major champions Ashleigh Buhai and Nelly Korda are currently tied for fifth at -8 with Sweden’s Linn Grant. Grant and Buhai matched 67s on day two with Korda carding a 4-under, 68 to sit two shots back. Defending champion Jin Young Ko jumped up the leaderboard on Friday into a tie for eighth at -7 with Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings No. 1 Lydia Ko sitting at T16 and five back of the lead at -5 overall.