Sticking to her mantra of staying patient, Jang hit four birdies and
an eagle in a blemish-free round on the demanding Serapong Course to
put herself in prime position to mount a challenge for a second win
in five starts this year.
Lee was also bogey-free and registered her fifth birdie of the day
on the par-five 18th to sign for a five-under-par 67 that put her
alongside Jang on eight-under for the $1.5 million restricted-field
The leading duo sit a stroke clear of Norway's Suzann Pettersen and
Pornanong Phatlum of Thailand in a share for third on a packed
leaderboard that has the top 19 players separated by just four
Jang claimed her first LPGA title at the Coates Golf Championship in
Florida last month, backed it up with two top-10 finishes and
continued to pepper the flag with her approach shots on Friday to
give herself plenty of birdie opportunities.
"Today I just told myself to be patient and not to think about the
score, other players and the golf course and it seemed to make it
easy for me," she said in a post-round interview.
"I have two more days, so I need more concentration but I think I
can do it."
The 23-year-old cut her teeth on her domestic tour but has already
made history in her second year on the LPGA when she became the
first golfer on the circuit to hit a hole-in-one on a par-four at
the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic.
Lee has struggled to replicate the form that led her to two
victories in her rookie season in 2014 but the 25-year-old has just
a single bogey on her card after 36 holes and her strategy for the
weekend could not be simpler.
[to top of second column]
"I'm just going to try and hit it straight, straight, straight and
then make, make, make," she said, while admitting that her short
game was key to her improved performance this week.
Defending champion and world number two Park In-bee had a day to
forget, however, after she started her round with three bogeys in
four holes but recovered slightly to sign for a one-over-par 73 that
left her five off the pace in a tie for 20th.
Her main rival Lydia Ko fared even worse, the world number one
carding a two-over-par 74 to fall into a tie for 41st at one-over,
two adrift of American Lexi Thompson, winner of last week's event in
Thailand, who signed for an even-par 72.
(Reporting by John O'Brien; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)
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