Mar 3rd, 2023
Kang storms into halfway lead at HSBC Women’s World Championship
American goes low to take a one shot lead at rain delayed event
Photography: Getty Images
This is the first time Kang has held the 36-hole lead/co-lead since the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio last season. Kang was in control right from the get-go, birdieing the first and third holes and then making two back-to-back birdies on Nos. 5 and 6. She notched another one on the par-5, 8th to turn in 31, and after two pars on the 10th and 11th holes, she made three consecutive birdies on Nos. 12, 13 and 14. Kang recorded her final birdie of the day on the par-5, 16th, closing with two pars to tie her career-low round on the LPGA Tour, which she last shot at the 2021 Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions.
“I stayed really patient. I tried to stay focused on the shot that I was hitting, more so than where I was standing with the score,” said Kang, who hit 14 of 14 fairways and 16 of 18 greens on Friday en route to carding the week’s low round. “I was just trying to stay in the present and focus on what was in front of me, whether it was walking through the mud or whether it was sitting there, waiting for the weather delay. I wasn't really trying to get ahead of myself, and I think I did a really good job.”
A trio of players sit in a tie for second, one back of Kang at -9 through two rounds. Korea’s Hyo Joo Kim won the 2021 edition of the HSBC Women’s World Championship and is once again contending at the Tanjong Course at Sentosa Golf Club, which holds many fond memories for the 27-year-old. After opening with a four-under, 68 on Thursday, Kim fired a five-under, 67 on Friday, with six birdies and one bogey on the card, putting herself squarely in the mix with the weekend looming large.
“I have confidence having won at this course once, but I'm always focused on making myself better,” said Kim, who hit 16 of 18 greens on back-to-back days in Singapore. “I'm looking forward to challenging myself the next two days to get a better performance than what I have so far already.”
Hawaii’s Allisen Corpuz went low on day two, carding a seven-under, 65 that was highlighted by an eagle on the par-5, 8th. She also made six birdies, including three in a row on the 10th, 11th and 12th, with one lone blemish on the card that came on the 15th. The 65 ties her career-low round on the LPGA Tour, which she last shot at the 2022 ANNIKA driven by Gainbridge at Pelican. First-round leader Elizabeth Szokol’s putter wasn’t nearly as hot on day two as on day one, but the 28-year-old managed to grind out a one-under 71 and remains in contention ahead of the weekend.
Major champions Ashleigh Buhai and Nelly Korda are tied for fifth at eight-under with Sweden’s Linn Grant. Grant and Buhai matched 67s on day two, with Korda carding a four-under 68 to sit two shots back. Defending champion Jin Young Ko jumped up the leaderboard on Friday into a tie for eighth at seven-under, with Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings number one Lydia Ko sitting tied sixteenth and five back of the lead at five-under overall.