Jasmine Suwannapura maintains one-shot lead in Malaysia

League: Golf

Posted on: 27 Oct, 2023 at 01:01 PM

Credit: Landon Bost/Naples Daily News/USA Today Network-Florida / USA TODAY NETWORK

Thailand's Jasmine Suwannapura stumbled early in the second round but rebounded to reclaim a one-shot lead over Rose Zhang at the Maybank Championship on Friday at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club in Malaysia.

Suwannapura shot a 3-under 69 in the second round and holds the 36-hole lead for the second time in her career at 12-under for the tournament, one ahead of Zhang and two clear of Celine Boutier (France), Peiyun Chien (Taiwan) and Hannah Green (Australia).

While Suwannapura lost her first-round lead early Friday with bogeys on two of her first three holes, Zhang grabbed the lead and Boutier made a charge with a second-round 64.

"I think I didn't really get stress about the two bogeys, and I feel like today especially pin position was not that easy at all," Suwannapura said. "I feel like couple bogeys, it's makes sense. So just trying my best and hopefully make some birdie coming in. ‘At least make even par today.' That's what I think (after the bogeys)."

Zhang remains in moving position entering Saturday despite a double-bogey on the par-4 14th thanks to birdies at Nos. 15 and 16 and another long birdie putt that fell on No. 18 for a second-round 68. Through two rounds, the American leads the field with 14 birdies.

"When you're out here you really have to be throwing darts and firing on all cylinders. When you make a mistake it's how you stay composed and come back to it," Zhang said. "So I'm really glad how I fought, and I felt like it was a really good way to finish."

Boutier had nine birdies to rally from a three-putt on the opening hole of her round, the 10th, but recalibrated quickly.

"I was not really happy with my putting already on the first hole," Boutier said. "And then starting off with a three-putt was not great, but then I had a good birdie chance on 11, which was my second hole, and made it. That kind of gave me a little bit more of a positive outlook on the rest of the day."

Chien shot a 69 and Green posted a 70 on Friday.

A Lim Kim of South Korea (66) and Gina Kim (70) are tied for sixth at 9 under. Major champions Sei Young Kim of South Korea (67), Brooke Henderson of Canada (67) and Ruoning Yin of China (68) are among a group tied at 8 under.

--Field Level Media