Natthakritta Vongtaveelap maintains share of Lotte lead

Thailand’s Natthakritta Vongtaveelap and South Korea’s Yu Jin Sung share the lead at the Lotte Championship after the second round on Thursday in Ewa Beach, Hawaii.

Vongtaveelap, a first-round co-leader, maintained her share of the top spot with a 2-under-par 70 at Hoakalei Country Club. Sung carded a 68, and she and Vongtaveelap sit at 8-under 136.

England’s Georgia Hall carded the best round of the day, a 66, to earn a share of third place with Sweden’s Linnea Strom, who shot a 67. Both are at 7 under.

Christina Kim (second-round 67), Australia’s Grace Kim (67) and Japan’s Nasa Hataoka (70) are tied for fifth at 6 under.

Lauren Hartlage holds eighth place at 5 under following a 70. China’s Siyun Liu (69) and Sweden’s Pernilla Lindberg (70) are level at 4 under, tied for ninth.

Canada’s Brooke M. Henderson, the Ewa Beach champion in 2018 and 2019, is tied for 11th at 3 under after a second-round 70.

Vongtaveelap, 20, is in her second career LPGA tournament after finishing in second place at the Honda LPGA Thailand in February. She was 1 over par for the day at the turn on Thursday, but she had three birdies on a bogey-free back nine.

“(The) total result is good,” Vongtaveelap said. “My putter today (was) not really good, but OK.”

She said she didn’t practice putting before the round.

“I would blame myself,” Vongtaveelap added.

Like Vongtaveelap, Sung got her round going on the back nine. After making eight pars and one birdie on the front nine, Sung ran off four birdies in a six-hole stretch to start the back nine. She made her lone bogey of the day at the par-4 16th hole, then closed with two pars.

“It was really windy day today and then just physical condition-wise I’m still getting used to the jet lag, so it was tough,” said Sung, who is in the event on a sponsor’s exemption. “Fortunately the wind direction was the same as yesterday, so it was easy to adjust.”

Defending champion Hyo Joo Kim of South Korea, who opened with a 68, stumbled to a 78 on Thursday. That left her at 2 over, the last score to make the cut.

–Field Level Media

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