Hataoka and Su Oh top leaderboard at halfway stage of Honda LPGA Thailand 2022
Top-two match Siam Country Club 36-hole tournament record at 16-under
PATTAYA – March 11, 2022 – Overnight leaders Nasa Hataoka of Japan and Australian Su Oh retained their one-shot cushion at the halfway stage of the Honda LPGA Thailand 2022 Championship at the Siam Country Club Old Course, Pattaya, Chonburi province today (Friday) when matching the tournament’s 36-hole record 16-under-par.
On the second day of the 15th anniversary event, where the majority of the world’s leading women’s players and sponsors’ exemptions are also battling it out for the all-new Honda HR-V e:HEV hole-in-one prize, Hataoka and Su Oh carded second round seven-under-par 65s, to go with their opening day 63s, for a two-day 128 total.
France’s Celine Boutier and Denmark’s Nanna Koerstz Madsen shot the low rounds of the day, posting efforts of eight-under 64s, to finish the day joint third on 15-under 129, while China’s Xiyu Lin had a six-under 66 for a 14-under 130 total and solo fifth place. American Jennifer Kupcho and Canadian Brooke Henderson, one of the pre-tournament favourites, both carded five-under 67s for a tie of sixth place on 12-unde-pare 132, while Australia’s Minjee Lee shot a 64 to join Carlota Ciganda and Alison Lee in a tie for eighth place on 11-under 133.
A confident Su Oh said after her round: “Actually the impact of my ball striking wasn't very good today. I was just kind of scrambling really well out there. But I was like, come on, you want to hit some good shots before going into tomorrow. (About the eagle-three on the last hole of the round) there were just some things that I'd been working on in my swing and I think it was just more the will of hitting the ball solid. I also kind of had really good yardage to that back pin. It didn't matter how hard I hit my 3-wood, it wouldn't have carried on top, so I think that helped. I knew it was going to cover the front and then I knew I would have to get lucky, but it was a pretty good number so I was like, Come on. Just hit the ball solid – and it worked out really well.”
Nanna Koerstz Madsen said: “I played really good on the front nine, played decent on the back nine too. Didn't have as many birdie opportunities, I mean, but it was still birdie, but longer putts. It was a steady round. On the back nine I hit a couple of loose iron shots that didn't get a birdie chance. But overall I hit a lot of good drives and I was in play all the time, so that makes it easier.”
Looking back on her round, Minjee Lee said: “I just think I hit it a little bit better, a little bit closer, gave myself a few more birdie putts today than yesterday. I think that was probably the biggest thing. I think just finishing well last week gave me a little bit of confidence coming into this week. You know, we can go pretty low around this golf course, it's pretty soft, so I think there are a lot of birdie opportunities out there – the scoring is going to be pretty low I think this week.”
Speaking of the soft conditions, made even more damp by an hour-and-a-half delay because of afternoon rain, Minjee said: “I think sort of being here a few times now I sort of figured out like what the contour of the greens are doing and things like that. So I think I'm a little bit more aggressive on some of the pins that I can be on and I just think it's just playing a little softer so we can be much more aggressive than previous years.” With six birdies and an eagle on her card, Minjee added: “I think I gave myself a lot more opportunities for birdie than yesterday. I think I hit it much more solid and I think I could capitalise a little bit more on the par-5s. I gave myself I think three eagle putts, so that was nice.”
This year’s tournament is the 15th edition of the Honda LPGA Thailand and of the US$1.6 million prize money on offer US$240,000 will go to the winner. The event, which ends in the Land of Smiles on Sunday and has an audience of only a limited number of invited guests with no tickets sold on site, is being played in a safe environment, adhering to the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and the Department of Disease Control. But the world’s golf fans may not miss a minute of the action, as they can tune in to live broadcasts and streaming of the event on the Official Broadcast Host PPTV HD 36 and their digital platforms: www.pptvhd36.com, Facebook, YouTube and the PPTVHD36 application over the four days of the tournament.
For more information and updates on the Honda LPGA Thailand 2022, visit www.hondalpgathailand.com or follow on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lpgaThailand or Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/hondalpgathailand.