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Shanshan Feng extends lead at US Women's Open

Feng putting from off the green at the 8th today (Photo: Courtesy of USGA)
Chinese star Shanshan Feng has a one shot lead as the US Women’s Open heads into the weekend at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster in New Jersey, the 27 year old seven time LPGA Tour winner one ahead of Koreans, Jeongeun6 Lee, Amy Yang and 17 year old current Australian Amateur Champion, Hye-Jin Choi.

Feng played late on day two after her opening round of 66 and added a two under par round of 70 in the damp, overcast and soft underfoot conditions to remain in the lead although she was challenged by the 17 year old Choi, who actually shared the lead with Feng until bogeys at her 16th and 17th holes.   

Feng, currently 6th on the Rolex World ranking, already has a major championship to her name having won the LPGA Championship in 2012 and she has developed into a regular contender at this level with eleven top tens in her last 25 starts in major championships.

She is putting much of her performance thus far down to improved putting this week. “Coming in this week, I made a little adjustment with my coach. Putting is really working. Also I got a green (contour) book this week. Greens are really tricky. I think that really helped, especially for the speed, also.

“My phone told me it was going to rain the whole afternoon. I was prepared. I didn't really -- I wasn't really surprised about it and I mean again, we were -- it was fair for everybody because yesterday the players played in the afternoon, it rained, and this afternoon it rained again so I think it's fair -- just fair for everybody.”

Lee, playing her first time in the US, uses the number 6 in her name to assist in distinguishing her from the many Lee’s that play professional golf. While this is her first time in the US she is a successful player on the KLPGA Tour where she is currently 3rd on their money list.

“I am surprised because LPGA is my dream and it's the most difficult -- you know, known tournament to be the most difficult in the world, U.S. Open, so that's why I'm very surprised to play well,” said Lee.

“I'm very nervous because it is my first time to the United States. I'm nervous that -- because I'm not sure if I could finish well in the last two days.”

Yang is a formidable major championship competitor and has an enviable record at the US Open despite not yet winning. She has recorded six top tens, two of those runner-up finishes, in her last seven starts in this event and today she again positioned herself for yet another great week with a round of 71 to be at 6 under and just two from the lead.

“You know, it was tough today,” said Yang. “It rained a lot in on the front nine. I just try to stay hang in there and just kept grinding. And the birdie on the last hole feels really good. It's going to make dinner tasty.

“I like where I am positioned right now. I'm really looking forward to play the weekend. I'm hitting good and I'm putting good and I'm feeling good about my game right now.”

Choi is not only the Australian Amateur Champion she managed to finish 7th at the Australian Women's Open so is yet another Korean player of exceptional promise.  

She finished as the leading amateur in last year's US Women's Open and believes that experience is helping this year. 

"When I was first traveling over here, my goal was to make the cut," said Choi. "And if I made the cut, I was just looking for the top-10. So I'm already very happy with what I'm doing and I'm not going to feel any pressure.

"Last year's experience gave me a lot more confidence than my first event and the results were pretty good, so I feel a lot better this year."

World number one, So Yeon Ryu, and In Gee Chun are in a share of 6th position along with others at 4 under while Brooke Henderson and Lydia Ko remain in the hunt at 3 under and five from Feng’s lead.

The Australians are led by Minjee Lee in 10th position at 3 under and Katherine Kirk 21st at 1 under.

More information on the Australians can be found here. 







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