CLPGA Tour record within reach for Zhang
China’s Zhang Weiwei continued to hold a hot hand at the Trust Golf Thailand LPGA Masters on Thursday as the Hubei Province native shot a 2-under-par 70 to take a two-shot lead through two rounds in Bangkok.
The 22-year-old was at 9-under 135 at the tournament co-sanctioned by the China LPGA, Thai LPGA and the Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tours.
Thailand’s Patcharajutar Kongkraphan, the US LPGA Tour regular, was second after shooting a 5-under 67 during her morning round at Panya Indra, while compatriots Pannarat Thanapolboonyaras and Chonlada Chayanun each shot 70 to sit equal third at four shots back.
A total of 21 players were unable to complete their second round when play was called for darkness. They will complete their round early on Friday morning.
With a thunder and lightning storm halting play at 3.03pm, Zhang, the current CLPGA Tour Order of Merit leader, immediately got back to work when play resumed two hours later. With a birdie three at the 376-yard 13th hole, she moved one stroke ahead of Patcharajutar and never looked back.
The overnight leader, a winner in Hangzhou, Wuhan and Beijing this year, then picked up another stroke with a birdie two at the 15th hole to put herself two shots clear and within striking distance of a record four wins in one CLPGA Tour season.
“Today my overall feeling was good. After the game resumed the weather became better. There was almost no wind and the greens became soft. This was completely different from my afternoon game (yesterday),” said Zhang.
“Before play was suspended, the wind was powerful and the greens were hard and I was not very good at hitting the ball. The suspension period allowed me to have sufficient rest time, which was conducive to my recovery. Tomorrow, I will continue to maintain the form of the first two rounds.”
Patcharajutar, who between 2010 and 2011 won four times on the CLPGA Tour, held steady in posting a bogey-free round featuring five birdies. The 27-year-old credited her performance to the good pace of play among the early starters.
“We played in the morning so it’s faster than yesterday and it keeps my game in form. My iron game was much better,” said the big-hitting Nakhon Ratchasima native who has struggled stateside this season in making only four cuts in 11 starts on the US LPGA Tour.
“The greens were a lot firmer than I expected. It was supposed to be rain, but it’s not. The front nine I played a little bit long so I adjusted on the back nine and I could play a little bit shorter club and it got better.”