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30th October 2015 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Lee-Anne picks up pace in China

2014LeeAnnePace_3_SLTAfter a battling 76 in Thursday’s first round, South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace made a great strides in the blustery conditions to get closer to the top five in the Blue Bay LPGA on Hainan Island in China.

The defending champion mixed three birdies with a quartet of bogeys for a one-over 73 to grab a seat on at five over 149.

Only five players managed to break par on Friday and only the top five on the leaderboard are in red figures through 36 holes.

Korean Sei Young Kim carded an even-par 72 to overtake first round pacesetter Lin Xi Yu from China and tops the leaderboard at two under 142.

The LPGA Tour’s leading rookie claimed her two victories this season in similar windy conditions in the Bahamas and Hawaii. She had a pair of birdies and two bogeys and birdied the 18th hole to take the outright lead.

Kim is one shot clear of Candie Kung from Taiwan, Americans Ryann O’Toole and Austin Ernst and Norway’s Suzann Pettersen, who shot three under 69 to record the low round of the day and move from 22nd to a tie for second.

Meanwhile world number one Ko followed an opening 77 with a 75 to tie for 47th on eight over, while multiple Major winner Imbee Park withdrew from the $2-million penultimate event on the LPGA Tour’s five tournament Asian swing.

Park said she has had a cyst develop on her left middle finger over the past three weeks and may be looking at options to remove it. It is unsure when she will return to action.

PHOTO: Lee-Anne Pace; credit Catherine Kotze / SASPA.