Rolex Rankings No. 5 Yani Tseng maintained her overnight lead with a second straight round of 68 at the Ricoh Women’s British Open.
Tseng opened with a four under par 68 in the favourable afternoon weather conditions on Thursday to tie for the lead with Katherine Hull at the historic Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, England.
Playing in calm and largely dry conditions on Friday morning, just before the rain arrived, she added a second round of 68 to finish on eight under par for the championship.
She had five birdies and one bogey, finishing four shots clear of Amy Yang (71), Cristie Kerr (67) and Brittany Lincicome (71).
After starting her round at 7.36am, Tseng birdied the par-four second hole but dropped a shot at the par-four third hole. She picked up a shot at the par five sixth for an outward nine of 34. Coming home, she added birdies at the 14th, 16th and 17th for an inward total of 34.
At the par-five 18th, just after the heavens opened, Tseng drove into the right rough and hit her second shot into a pot bunker by the green, splashing her third shot out to 25 feet past the flag and two putting for a par.
Tseng, who finished second to Jiyai Shin at the 2008 Ricoh Women’s British Open at Sunningdale, has two Major championship victories on her resume, the 2010 Kraft Nabisco and the 2008 LPGA Championship. She has posted five top 10 finishes on the LPGA in 2010, including the win at Kraft. Earlier in the season, Tseng also won the Handa Women’s Australian Open, which was a co-sanctioned tournament between the Ladies European Tour and the ALPG.
There are currently four players from Chinese Taipei in the top 100 on the Rolex Women’s World Rankings, but Tseng hopes to be a role model for young players from her home country.
“When I was young, I watch Annika playing. So I tell myself one day I want to play with Annika. I want to play with her on Tour. So that’s how I get in here. I really wish I would be like Se Ri Pak,” she explained. Pak inspired a generation of Korean players following her 1998 US Women’s Open victory.
Tseng is also determined to reach the pinnacle of women’s world golf and has been consulting former World No.1 Annika Sorenstam on the process of getting there.
Tseng explained: “I talked to her before I, right before this season start, and she said she would teach me a lot, and like first question I asked her how can I be No. 1 in the world. And she’s telling me what should I do right now, step by step. I’m always looking at the result. And practice is more important for me.
“She knows I’m really aggressive player, so she really wants me to play really smart, not just see the pin and always go there. So she told me I need to trust myself. If I stay patient, I will be on top one day.”
American Kerr, who held the World No.1 spot for three weeks from 28th June, had a 67 which was the best round of the day.
The World No.3, who recently earned a 12 stroke victory at the LPGA Championship Presented by Wegmans, said: “I played obviously really well today. I was determined to be more relaxed out there. I’ve been putting a lot of pressure on myself just getting the No. 1 ranking, and you know, hadn’t really realised what was going on until, you know, a couple rounds ago. So just getting out there, and I did my thing today. And you know the results took care of themselves.”
Anne-Lise Caudal of France, who shot an opening round of 69, started her second round at 3.17pm and birdied the second hole to reach four under par.
The 2009 champion Catriona Matthew had an unlucky 13th hole after getting stuck in bunker and ended up with a 10 on the hole, taking her to 10 over par after 14 holes.
At the end of the second round, the leading 65 players and those tied for 65th place will play the third and fourth rounds. The cut mark is hovering at around four over par.