Jang clings to LPGA lead as Ko, Nomura charge

Miami (AFP) –


South Korea's Jang Ha-Na clung to a one-stroke lead over world number one Lydia Ko of New Zealand and Japan's Haru Nomura after Friday's completion of the storm-halted second round of the LPGA Coates Championship.

Jang, who was unable to tee off Thursday before heavy rain halted play, fired a par-72 Friday morning to stand on seven-under par 137 after 36 holes at Golden Ocala Golf and Equestrian Club course in Ocala, Florida.

Birdies at the par-3 fourth and par-5 18th by Jang were offset by a double bogey at the par-4 13th, when she sailed her approach over the green and onto a cart path.

"I was really angry after 13," Jang said. "But my caddie said, 'No, don't be angry, too many holes right now, two more days so you keep going. Simple. Simple. Don't think about it.'

"And then at 18 the birdie was really nice. I finished so good."

It was enough to keep her on top as Ko, an 18-year-old of South Korean heritage, took a bogey on her final second-round hole. She was stopped on the 18th green by the rain on Thursday.

"Three putts. But what can you do?" Ko said. "I just hit, apart from the third one, a little too hard."

Nomura was the clubhouse leader Thursday after a 66 when the storm struck.

Sharing fourth on 139 for 36 holes were China's Lin Xi Yu, South Korean kim Sei-Young and Americans Jessica Korda, Lizette Salas and Lexi Thompson.