Golf: Defending champion Feng leads in Japan


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TOKYO,: Defending champion Feng Shanshan fired a 9-under 63 to lead in the second round of the LPGA Japan Classic on Saturday, leaving behind six others who shared the lead in the first round.

China’s Feng, who is looking to become the first player to defend an LPGA title in 2017, birdied seven holes and eagled on the par-5 12th hole.

Japan’s Ai Suzuki followed Feng with a 65, with five stellar birdies and an eagle.

“What was working well was my putting today,” said Feng, a Rio Olympic bronze medalist.

Feng birdied five of her first seven holes Saturday to jump ahead — leading by four shots at one point — before Suzuki fired a 6-under-par 30 on the back nine to a hair’s-breadth of two shots.

“It’s not my first time leading a tournament, but of course it’s my first time (when) maybe I’m not too far away from a title defence,” said Feng.

“Of course, before I came I was like, ‘if I can do it, it would be great,’ but the most important thing I think is to enjoy the whole process and then playing with Ai tomorrow will be fun,” she said.

England’s Charley Hull and South Korea’s Min-Young Lee tied for the third place, sitting at 10-under par.-AFP