Ariya chips to the green and Moriya putts out during Thursdays domination by the Jutanugarn sisters in the second round of the Blue Bay LPGA tournament in southern Hainan, China. (AFP photos)
HAINAN: World No.1 Ariya Jutanugarn blew away the rest of the field at the Blue Bay LPGA tournament Thursday, as the big-hitting Thai carded a four-under-par 68 in windy conditions to open up a four-stroke lead in Sanya on Hainan Island.
Through two rounds at the US$2.1 million tournament, a co-sanctioned event between the China and US LPGA Tours, the Bangkok native was on seven-under 137.
Moriya, Ariyas older sister who was runner-up at last years tournament, was joint-second after shooting a 71 at the Jian Lake Blue Bay layout, tied with American Jennifer Song (71) and Mexicos Gaby Lopez (71).
Zhang Weiwei was the top Chinese after posting a 69 to sit six shots back in a group of three players that included Thailands Thidapa Suwannapura, the first-round leader who struggled to a 75.
Video: Moriya Jutanugarn Highlights Round 3 2018 Blue Bay LPGA
Starting the day one shot off the lead, Ariya carded consecutive bogeys from the fifth hole onwards to drop to one under. She then got to work with three straight birdies to make the turn at four under.
“I hit the perfect shot at the par-three seventh hole and made birdie. That gave me lots of confidence, especially on the par-fives. I feel I have more chance to make birdie,” said the 22-year-old Ariya, a three-time winner this season.
Ariya, who is chasing an 11th victory on the US-based LPGA Tour, said that she has a combustible relationship with Moriya, and is relishing the prospect of fighting it out with her sister on the golf course.
“We stay together this week… we woke up same time like both days already. We walk to the course together.
“I think we [are] very nice to each other when were on the golf course, but off the golf course I think we [are] not nice to each other.”
Here are Thursdays highlights of the Jutanugarn sisters, from the official video channel of the LPGA.
“You know, shes really professional,” Ariya said of her sister. “So her room is so clean. I throw everything. She yells at me every day.”
World No.2 Park Sung-Hyun improved to an even-par 72 to get to one over. Defending champion Feng Shanshan (72) of China was three over in equal 23rd.
HAINAN ISLAND, China – Top-ranked Ariya Jutanugarn shot a 4-under 68 to take a four-stroke lead at the halfway point of the Blue Bay LPGA tournament.
Jutanugarn had birdies on the final two holes – and four of the closing seven – on Thursday to take command over the rest of the field at 7-under 137.
Ariya Jutanugarn said the sisters are sharing the same living quarters this week. But she went on to explain they are very different characters.
I think we are very nice to each other when were on the golf course, but off the golf course I think we not nice to each other, she joked.
You know, shes really professional, Ariya said of her sister. So her room is so clean. I throw everything. She yells at me every day.