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Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship
Tournament Information Player List & Draw Sheet Results News Photo Highlight
Eun Hee Ji overcomes back pain to hold on to one-shot lead over Lydia Ko
Date:2015-10-23

(New Taipei City) Playing in pain from a sprained back, Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship first-round leader Eun Hee Ji of South Korea managed to shoot 3-under 69 to hang on to a one-shot lead over world no. 2 Lydia Ko of New Zealand, with a two-round aggregate score of 9-under to take the half-way lead and another chance to get back into the winner’s circle after six long years.
Ji, who opened with a 66, sprained her upper back when she got out of bed this morning. Immediate massage and physiotherapy did not help her much, as she struggled with her driver and backswing and missed lots of fairways, including hitting it out of bounds at the sixth hole for a double-bogey.

Ji switched gear and kept reminding herself not to dwell on back pain and backswing, a successful strategy as she went on to shoot three birdies with precise iron shots and trusty putter. Ji, winner of the 2009 US Open, said she feels excited about the opportunity to pick up her third career LPGA win, “especially after I just changed my swing so I can shape my shots instead of just hitting fades.”

Eun Hee Ji will be paired with Ko as well as Charlie Hull of England, who sits tied for third at 7-under, in tomorrow’s third round. The threesome will tee off at 10:38 from the first hole of Miramar Golf Country Club. China’s talented 19-year old player Xi Yu Lin shot a 70 in the second round to share T3 with Hull.

Lydia Ko is at her best as the immediate threat to world no.1 Inbee Park, who is unable to defend her title this week due to scheduling conflict. Ko carded 7 birdies against 2 bogeys en route to an impressive 67. In response to the various scenarios where she can overtake Park as world number one, Ko said she was not really thinking about world rankings during the round, “I just tried to focus on every shot at hand.”

Ko said this is the fourth time she is playing in Taiwan, and each time the tournament was accompanied with wind and rain, so she is quite used to Taiwan’s weather. She feels the final score this week eventually will depend on wind and pin placement in the final two rounds, but no one probably should be able to challenge Park’s winning score of 22-under from last year, “unless someone shoots back-to-back 6-under or 7-under.”

On the other hand, 15-year-old amateur player Ya-Chun Chang of Taiwan picked up where she left off yesterday, as she reeled in 5 birdies on the back nine to offset 2 bogeys on the front nine to finish with a 69, good for T11 at 2-under. Chang is also the top Taiwanese performer in the tournament after the half-way mark.

  Chang is currently studying and honing her golf skills at the IMG Academy at Tampa, Florida, where she occasionally is able to seek valuable advice from LPGA stars including Paula Creamer and Jessica Korda. Chang revealed that before the tournament, she switched to a larger golf bag on loan from a local veteran pro and “somehow it really helped my game!”
 
Local fan favorite Yani Tseng was unable to move up the leaderboard as she repeatedly found herself on the defense when she should have been very aggressive. Tseng could only manage a 73 to tie for 32nd with a total score of 1-over. Tseng said she is frustrated with hole 15 as she got distracted on the tee box and her tee shot swayed right out of bounds, resulting in a double-bogey. “I need to make more birdies tomorrow to give myself any chance to make up some ground, ” said Yani.

Pei-Ying Tsai, a TLPGA standout shot 71 to tie for 24th at even-par with players including Creamer and popular South Korean player Na Yeon Choi, who will be celebrating her birthday with loyal fans on the golf course tomorrow. For more information, please visit: http://www.fubonlpga.com/
 

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