Thai teen Saranporn leads in Beijing

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Saranporn Langkulgasettrin put herself in position to capture her third title of the China LPGA Tour season by firing a 6-under 66 to take a one-shot lead at the Beijing Heritage.
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Thailand's Saranporn Langkulgasettrin in action during the second round of the BridgeCC CLPGA Beijing Heritage at the Beijing Orient Tianxing Country Club in the Chinese capital on August 17, 2017.

Saranporn Langkulgasettrin put herself in position to claim her third win of the China LPGA Tour season on Thursday when the Thai teenager carded a 6-under-par 66 to take a one-shot lead through two rounds of the BridgeCC CLPGA Beijing Heritage.

The 17-year-old was at 9-under 135 at the Beijing Orient Tianxing Country Club. Singaporean rookie pro Amanda Tan was second after a 69, while Chinese amateur Wang Xinying was three shots off the pace after posting her second consecutive round of 69 at the 200,000-yuan (US$30,000) tournament.

Overnight leader Piyathida Ployumsri (73) was equal fourth, tied with fellow Thai Tiranan Yoopan (69) at four shots back.

Saranporn, winner of the Zhuhai and Wuhan legs, carded a bogey-free round with six birdies, including one at the last, a 474-yard par-5, to take the outright lead.

“I feel good today, I feel really good with my shots. I'll do my best tomorrow and won't think too much about being the champion. Tomorrow I am going to play with my friend (Tan), so a little bit of pressure but it will be fun,” said the Phuket native.

Saranporn, a winner of 11 pro tournaments, expressed her appreciation for the Heritage series. The tournaments were introduced to the China LPGA Tour calendar this summer and feature low-purse events that are designed to give young pros and amateurs more competition experience.

“The prize money may be low but it’s the same as Thailand, but I won't really think about that. As for teenagers and amateurs, this is a good opportunity; they gain a lot experience when playing with pros or the top players in the field. It must be a happy time for them. When I was an amateur I really wanted to play with top pros to learn more about how to survive on the tour.”

Tan, an 18-year-old product of the Sentosa Golf Club, turned it on towards the end of her round with three consecutive birdies starting at the 15th hole to keep in the hunt for her maiden title.

“Today the start is not is very good, not as good as yesterday. I came back on the last four holes but my iron play I struggled a little,” said the teenager who turned pro in February.

“This is my first year to play on the China Tour. The tournaments are very well organized and the people working on this tour are very friendly and helpful. It's good for me and my development as a pro golfer.”

Wang Xinying, an 18-year-old from Beijng, is playing China LPGA Tour events and others around Asia during her summer break from studying at the famed Duke University in North Carolina. Her round today included five birdies and two bogeys.

“Today the result is good but my condition is not good enough, especially the irons,” said the teenager. “I feel not good after two bogeys, but I adjusted my mentality quickly and got four birdies later.”

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