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Du Mohan extends lead in round two of EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open

Du Mohan

Hong Kong’s Tiffany Chan leaves herself with work to do on Sunday as she looks to make up nine-shot difference to leader.

China’s Du Mohan carded the low round of the day to extend her overnight lead in round two of the EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open, stretching out a five shot margin over second placed Zhang Wei Wei, also of China, and Seo Ji Hyun(2) of Korea. The Beijing native posted a second consecutive round of five-under-par 67 on the Old Course at Hong Kong Golf Club, to finish at 10-under-par.

In a repeat of her first round, the 17-year-old finished well, with birdies on holes 17 and 18 to put some distance between her and the chasing pack. Carding three birdies either side of the turn, a bogey on the par-three 7th was her only dropped shot of the day. Said Du:

“I expected to even-par every hole but I did a great job and played very well with my putting today, especially my distance control. I’m a little bit surprised to have a [five]-shot lead.”

The teenager, who turned professional last September, is yet to win a professional tournament but will be looking to learn from past experience as she heads into the final round in such a commanding position.

“At the Asian Games I was leading after two rounds at nine-under but it didn’t go well in the last round. But I feel technically and mentally stronger so I hope I can play just as I did in the first round and keep doing exactly the same thing as these last two days. My plan for tomorrow? Fairways and greens. Easy!” she joked.

Six strokes adrift of the leader, tied in fourth place are Liu Wenbo and Ren Yue of China and Wu Chih-yun of Chinese Taipei. Wenbo was looking strong throughout the round but a double-bogey on 18 meant she has to settle for two-under-par 70.

Local star Tiffany Chan has plenty of work to do in round three if she is to repeat her heroics of 2016 when she won the tournament as an amateur. Three dropped shots on the back nine saw her close for one-over-par 73, but she remains positive about her round.

“It felt very good. My back is a bit achy and I haven’t been able to swing it at 100 percent so I think I did pretty well today. I missed a small putt on the last hole but that’s golf. I’m happy with the way I played today. I fought back with a birdie on 14 and just two missed small putts.”

Asked how she planned to overcome a nine-shot difference she remarked, “Well, I’ll probably have to shoot ten-under tomorrow then. I’ve shot a 63 on the last round in the U.S. so I might bring that back tomorrow – who knows?”

Two strokes further back from Chan is Hong Kong’s Isabella Leung at one-over-par. Carding three-over-par 75 in round two, Leung will be looking to put in a repeat performance of her first round, on Sunday.

With the cut line falling at +4, 62 players will advance to the final round of the tournament on Sunday.

Round two saw the EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open ‘Beat The Pro’ make its debut on hole 16. Eight youngsters affiliated with Hong Kong Golf Club and Hong Kong Golf Association’s elite development programme were given the chance to test their skills against the professionals, teeing off on the par-three in an effort to land their tee-shot closest to the pin. Participants posed for pictures on the tee-box with the professionals and joined them down the fairway before retrieving their tee-shots.

The EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open was inaugurated by Hong Kong Golf Club in 2015 to create a pathway for leading local players to compete on the international stage. The tournament is tri-sanctioned by the China LPGA Tour, the LPGA Tour of Taiwan and Ladies Asian Golf Association, with support from the Hong Kong Golf Association and Hong Kong PGA.

The 123-player is competing for a share of the US$ 150,000 purse over 54 holes on the Old Course at Hong Kong Golf Club. With free access, popcorn and family activities to enjoy, the EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open is a family outing not to be missed.