(Harlech, Wales — Friday 7th August 2009) — South Korean Amy Yang takes a two stroke lead into the weekend at the S4C Wales Ladies Championship of Europe.
Yang, a three-time winner on the Ladies European Tour, added a score of 65 to her opening 68 for an 11-under total of 133 after a second day of sunshine at Royal St. David’s Golf Club in Harlech, Gwynedd.
At one point, the 20-year-old moved to 13-under-par, and nine-under for the round, but she double-bogeyed the par-four 17th hole, going from bunker to bunker.
She recorded two eagles in her round, at the seventh and 13th holes, holing a 30 yard shot at the 483-yard par-five seventh hole. “I was lucky; it bounced in,” she said. Pure skill afforded her the second eagle on 13 when she hit a rescue iron 216 yards and rolled in a beautifully judged nine footer.
“Everything was working well: short game, putting was working well. I hit a few missed shots but they were safe missed shots so I was keeping out of trouble,” she said.
Just over two weeks ago, Yang escaped the same burning apartment building as last week’s Ricoh Women’s British Open champion, Catriona Matthew. She jumped out of the second floor window onto a mattress thrown by her father Joon.
“I heard some sounds like fireworks outside. It happened so suddenly and it was scary,” she added.
Now the only thing on fire is her game, as proved by her six additional birdies on Friday. Having become the LET’s youngest ever winner at the 2006 ANZ Ladies Masters as a 16-year-old amateur, she has reason to be feared as a front runner.
Yang was afforded a special exemption to become a member of the LET at the age of 17 and last year won two tournaments: the HypoVereinsbank Ladies German Open and the Scandinavian TPC Hosted by Annika. This year playing on the LPGA Tour, she tied for ninth at the McDonalds LPGA Championship.
Another ANZ Ladies Masters winner, this year’s champion Australian Katherine Hull, shot a 68 to finish in second place on 11-under. Hull fired four birdies over the championship links course at the first, eighth, 11th and 16th holes and said: “No bogeys so that’s always a good day when that happens. I guess I needed to make a few more birdies to keep up with Amy.”
The 2008 CN Canadian Women’s Open champion from Queensland is playing on an invitation this week and enjoying the fine weather.
“The breeze was pretty constant all day: a lot more than yesterday. The temperature has started to drop now but they are still great conditions for golf.
“It’s nice to be in contention, post two good scores and I think it will be fun out here come Saturday, Sunday.”
A group of four players finished two shots back at seven-under, among them, Wales’ own Becky Brewerton. The Solheim Cup star shot rounds of 70, 67 and said: “My putting was unbelievable. I didn’t hit the ball that well but made everything. I had 25 putts. I’m very happy and would have taken that. I just need to hit a few balls off the tee and find the feeling. Everything else feels great.”
Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist, the 22-year-old LPGA Major Champion who led by one on six-under 66 after the first round, shot 71, despite the fact her card featured two double bogeys at the third and 12th holes.
They were joined by Frenchwoman Jade Schaeffer (68), who claimed her maiden LET victory in Germany in May, and South African Ashleigh Simon (70).
Australian Frances Bondad was seventh on six-under, followed by Sweden’s Louise Stahle and England’s Karen Stupples in a share of eighth on four-under.
Third round play resumes at 7.30am on Saturday, with Yang and Hull in the final pairing at 12:36pm.