Lin and Yang renew rivalry in Zhuhai

By Yu Jinxi in Zhuhai, Guangdong province | | Updated: 2017-03-24 22:30

Chinese Taipei's Lin Tzu-chi fired a four-under 68 under windy conditions in Guangdong province on Friday to grab a share of the second-round lead at the Zhuhai Hengqin Phoenix Tree Building Challenge with overnight leader Yang Taoli (72) of China.

The pair are at six-under 138 through 36 holes at Orient Zhuhai (A and C composite course), four strokes clear of Chinese Taipei's Chen Min-jou (73). China's Sui Xiang (70) is fourth, one stroke ahead of compatriot Zhang Weiwei (74) at the 500,000 yuan tournament, the first full-field event of the 2017 China LPGA Tour season.

Starting her round at the 10th tee, Lin held it together in the windy conditions, registering a bogey-free round with two birdies on both the front and back nines.

"With good iron play I had many chances. I could be better. I missed two seven-footers in a row at the first two holes (the 10th and 11th holes), but the whole round is solid, very good," said the 26-year-old from Taichung.

Playing together in the final group Lin will have history on her side. In 2013, she beat Yang in a second-hole play-off in Ningbo, one of two victories she posted that year on the China LPGA Tour.

"Yang Taoli is a good player. Tomorrow you should just play your game. The forecast is not good. The golf course should be a great challenge. You could make a mistake in a heartbeat, so you need to play safe and seize the few chances I could have," Lin said.

Yang, who started the day with a three-stroke lead, could only muster par through the first seven holes before making a birdie two at the 157-yard eighth hole to go to seven-under. She then dropped a stroke at the short 334-yard 10th before playing par golf back to the clubhouse.

"The wind was strong at the beginning of my round after lunch, but calmed down at the last few holes. I just played safe. I think it was a good strategy on the front nine and I had a real birdie chance within 12 feet at the (396-yard) seventh hole but I missed. But I made a 30-footer for birdie at the next hole," said the Sichuan native, the 2009 China LPGA Tour Order of Merit champion.

"Its eight years since the last win. I might forget how to win. But I played in the final group in Taiwan (at the CTBC Ladies Open) last year and I was tied for second. I was in contention again and I will try to learn from that."

China national team member Du Mohan was the top amateur as the 15-year-old battled to a three-over 75 during her early morning round to sit at two-over in equal 11th.

"I needed to play 30 yards more than normal. The wind definitely affected your game. This might be one of the top-10 windy rounds that we have played," said the Beijing teenager. "It was a windy afternoon yesterday and I thought we could have a calmer morning today but it wasn't, which was unfortunate."

Zhuhai Orient (A and C composite course) is a 6,231-yard, par-72 layout designed by TK Pen.

Zhuhai Hengqin Phoenix Tree Building Challenge second round leading scores

Players Chinese mainland unless stated

* denotes amateur

138 – Yang Taoli 66-72, Lin Tzu-chi (TWN) 70-68

142 – Chen Min-jou (TWN) 69-73

143 – Sui Xiang 73-70

144 – Zhang Weiwei 70-74

145 – Zhang Jienalin 73-72, Nichakorn Raksachat (THA) 73-72, Kang Lia (KOR) 72-73,

Punpaka Phuntumabamrung (THA) 71-74, Saranporn Langkulgasettrin (72-73)

146 – Du Mohan* 71-75, Aunchisa Utama (THA) 72-74, Chen Liqing 73-73,

Saraporn Chamchoi (THA) 70-76, Narisara Kerdrit (THA) 73-73

147 – Song Ji-won (KOR) 74-73, Zhang Yunjie 73-74, Parinda Phokan (THA) 72-75,

Liu Wenbo* 69-78

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