AFP PHOTO

South Korea’s Hur Mi-jung defied difficult, windy conditions to fire at two-under par 70 on Friday and maintain a two-stroke lead in the LPGA Indy Women in Tech Championship.

Hur followed up a first-round 63, and might have had a bigger lead but for a double-bogey six at the par-four 16th. On 11-under 133 she was two strokes clear of Japan’s Sakura Yokomine, who also posted a 70 on the Brickyard crossing course that includes four holes on the infield of the famed 2.5 mile (4km) Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“It was tough conditions on the course with the down and hurting wind, but I tried to enjoy with the wind,” said Hur, who said she’d become accustomed to playing in the wind since settling in the Dallas area in breezy north Texas.

“This is, like, normal in Texas,” she said. “So it helped me a lot when I practice with this kind of wind on the range.”

Hur, who ended a five-year title drought with a victory in the Ladies Scottish Open last month, got off to a solid start with three birdies in her first seven holes.

She shook off back-to-back bogeys at the eighth and ninth with birdies at 10, 12, and 14 before giving back two strokes at the 16th.

“You have to forget about the bogeys,” Hur said. “I’m just trying to focus on every shot and putt.”

Yokomine, who started the day tied for second with England’s Bronte Law and Denmark’s Nanna Koerstz Madsen, was pleased to post an under-par score in the windy weather.

After a birdie and bogey on the front nine she birdied 15 and 16 to stay in touch with Hur.

Puerto Rico’s Maria Torres fired a 68 and shared third on 137 with American Marina Alex, who followed her first-round 66 with a 71.

“Conditions were crazy, so much different than yesterday,” Alex said. “Some tough hole locations out there, too.”

Hong Kong’s Tiffany Chan had seven birdies in an impressive seven-under 65 to share fifth place on 138 with Americans Kendall Dye (60) and Amy Olson (72), and Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum (72).

Law and Madsen both posted 75s to fall seven shots off the pace. Defending champion Park Sung-hyun and 2017 winner Lexi Thompson, meanwhile, both missed the cut.

SOURCEAFP
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