Shanshan Feng takes LPGA Tour lead in Canada


Associated Press

WATERLOO, Ontario — Shanshan Feng took a two-stroke lead Saturday in the LPGA Tour’s Manulife Financial Classic, shooting a 4-under 67 in calm conditions at Grey Silo.

The 24-year-old Chinese player had a 15-under 198 total. She made a 30-foot eagle putt on the par-5 fifth, had two birdies and dropped her first stroke of the week with a bogey on the par-4 16th.

“I got off to a very good start, 4 under through six holes,” Feng said. “Then actually, I couldn’t make a lot of putts. I missed a lot of birdie putts, plus one bogey, so actually I dropped back one shot. My goal is to get to 25 under. Of course, now I’m 15, so if I want to get to 25 tomorrow, I need to shoot 10 under.”

Feng won twice late last year after taking the 2012 LPGA Championship to become the first Chinese winner in LPGA Tour history.

“I think tomorrow I have no pressure,” Feng said.

Michelle Wie and second-ranked Inbee Park were tied for second. Wie had a 68, and Park shot a bogey-free 65.

Wie, the winner in Hawaii in April, is seeking her second victory in Canada after winning the 2010 Canadian Women’s Open in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

She rebounded from bogeys on No. 2 and 3 with birdies on Nos. 4 and 6.

“Yeah, quite a shaky start,” Wie said. “I missed a good birdie opportunity on the first hole and I kind of duck hooked it on the second hole and had to take an unplayable, and actually it was a really good bogey.

“Then I kind of hooked it on the next hole, hit it in the bunker. So I just couldn’t get my tempo right in the beginning, but definitely felt like I finished strong. Definitely the start that I had today, I’m really happy with the way I finished.”

Park is winless in 10 tour starts this season after sweeping the first three majors last year and finishing the season with six victories.

“I played really well on the front nine,” Park said. “I holed a lot of putts. I feel like I hit the ball great today. I had a lot of opportunities on the back nine also, but just missed a couple putts. I think overall it was a very good day. Just give myself a chance for tomorrow.”

Cristie Kerr was 12 under after a 65.

“Mentally, I was very good today,” Kerr said. “I’ve just got to take that into tomorrow.”

Third-ranked Lydia Ko and Anna Nordqvist were 11 under. The 17-year-old Ko had a 64, the best round of the day, and Nordqvist shot 69.

Ko, the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic winner in California in late April, won the Canadian Women’s Open as an amateur the last two years.

“You never know what’s going to happen,” Ko said. “There’s always another 18 holes. … I’ve just got to play my own game and see where it goes.”

Defending champion Hee Young Park, tied for the second-round lead with Feng, had a 72 to drop into a tie for seventh at 10 under.

Top-ranked Stacy Lewis was 7 under after a 69. She won last week in New Jersey to take the top spot in the world from Inbee Park.

ST. JUDE CLASSIC

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Ben Crane went more than 28 hours between competitive shots due to weather delays, and he had a four-stroke lead Saturday when another storm stopped play again at the St. Jude Classic.

Crane birdied his first hole and was 13 under overall through six holes at rain-softened TPC Southwind. he opened with rounds of 63 and 65.

Troy Merritt, a group ahead of Crane, was at 9 under, with playing partner Peter Malnati at 8 under. Billy Horschel, Retief Goosen and Camilo Villegas were at 7 under on their front nines.

Phil Mickelson, who hasn’t won in 19 straight events dating to the British Open, had pars on each of his first nine holes and was at 5 under. He’s using the event to tune up for the U.S. Open next week at Pinehurst.

LEGENDS OF GOLF

RIDGEDALE, Mo. — Jay Haas and Peter Jacobsen took the second-round lead in the Champions Tour’s Legends of Golf, teaming for a 6-under 48 in windy conditions on the par-3 Top of the Rock course.

Haas and Jacobsen played nine holes of alternate shot and nine of better ball at Top of the Rock, the first par-3 course used in a PGA Tour-sanctioned event, after opening with a better-ball 62 on Friday on the regulation Buffalo Ridge layout. They had a 15-under 110 total.

Jeff Sluman and Fred Funk were second after a 50 on the par-3 course, the site of the final round Sunday.

CURTIS CUP

ST. LOUIS — UCLA’s Alison Lee helped the United States move within 1 1/2 points of regaining the Curtis Cup, winning two matches at rainy St. Louis Country Club.

The Americans pushed their advantage to 9-2 over Britain and Ireland, with one foursomes matches still to be completed and eight singles matches left Sunday in the biennial competition.

The United States is trying to regain the cup after falling 10 1/2-9 1/2 in 2012 at Nairn in Scotland. The loss was the Americans’ first since 1996. The U.S. leads the series 27-7-3.

Lee and Southern California’s Kyung Kim beat Stephanie Meadow and Georgia Hall 4 and 2 in the morning four-ball matches, and Lee and Clemson’s Ashlan Ramsey topped Gemma Dryburgh and Charlotte Thomas 2 and 1 in the afternoon foursomes.

LYONESS OPEN

ATZENBRUGG, Austria — Joost Luiten moved into position to become the first Dutchman to successfully defend a European Tour title, shooting a 6-under 66 to take a two-stroke lead in the Lyoness Open.

Luiten had an 11-under 205.

 

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