World number five Shanshan Feng of China shot a second round of five under par 67 in windy conditions to take a six stroke lead at the halfway stage of the Buick Championship at Shanghai Qizhong Garden Golf Club.
On a total of 12 under par, Feng was well ahead of her nearest rivals, Xiyu Lin of China and first round leader Stacey Keating from Australia, while Norwegian Marianne Skarpnord and South Korean Hyeon Seo Kang were a stroke further behind.
Conditions were tougher than the first round and scores were generally higher due to winds of 15-20 miles per hour throughout the day.
Playing under grey skies, in temperatures from 22-26C, Feng bogeyed the second hole but immediately recovered with birdies on the third, fourth, eighth, ninth, 14th and 17th holes.
The 25-year-old from Guangzhou said: “Today the conditions were tougher than yesterday but the greens were still kind of a little softer, which helped a lot, because the wind picked up. I misjudged the wind a few times for distance and made a three putt on the second hole, but I made two birdies right after it and I was back in the game. I think five under was a pretty good score today.”
Fellow Guangzhou native Lin, who won the Sanya Ladies Open in November, was solid from tee to green but missed several birdie putts for a level par 72.
She said: “Today was windy so I’m happy with the score. My game was pretty good, especially my long game. I’m making some swing changes so I’m glad the ball is still under control. On the back nine I had a couple of bad putts and missed about five birdie chances from within three yards. I think tomorrow will be better because I’m going to practise.”
Earlier in the day, Keating followed her first round 63 with a 75 containing a double bogey on the second, five bogeys and four birdies. She said: “It was obviously very different score wise, but it was very, very tough out there today. It was blowing an absolute gale from my second or third hole. Three over is not the best score but I did make some birdies out there.”
Keating said that she was looking forward to being joined by an amateur partner in the Pro-Am style event running alongside the individual stroke play tournament over the weekend. The two-time Ladies European Tour tournament winner was also relishing the prospect of playing with Chinese star Feng. “I’d love nothing more than to be paired with her.”
As the second round drew to a close, the skies opened and 14-20mm of rainfall is expected overnight. Forecasts are for a few showers on Saturday morning but mostly dry for the weekend.