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Golf | Women`s Golf

Ai Miyazato © Gallo Images

Miyazato seizes Titleholders lead



Japan's Ai Miyazato collected nine birdies in an eight-under par 64 on Friday to take a one-shot lead midway through the LPGA tour's season-ending Titleholders tournament in Naples, Florida.

Miyazato, seeking a third victory this season, had just one blemish on her card, a bogey at the par-five second hole.

She more than atoned, with five birdies on the front nine and four more on the back at TwinEagles for a 10-under total of 134 after two rounds.

"I was just really calm out there all day long and I did really good on the greens," Miyazato said. "My game is really in good shape but I still have a couple more days so hopefully I can keep it going."

She was one shot in front of South Korean Na Yeon Choi, the US Women's Open champion who carded a 68 for 135.

South Korea's Sun Young Yoo, part of a trio sharing the first-round lead, thought whe was two shots adrift after a 70 but was assessed a one-shot penalty for an improper drop.

That gave Yoo a one-under 71 and put her in a tie for third on 137 alongside France's Karine Icher (70), American Brittany Lincicome (69) and overnight co-leader Suzann Pettersen of Norway (71).

Yoo was penalised for failing to hold her arm at shoulder height when she took her drop, and ended up with a triple-bogey eight at the hole.

"This is one of those rules you don't like to apply a penalty to," rules official Janet Lindsay told the Golf Channel. "You don't see the player gaining an advantage, but it definitely was a breach of the rule and that is a one-stroke penalty."

South Korea's So Yeon Ryu, who also shared the first-round lead, carded a 72 to fall into a tie for seventh alongside Germany's Sandra Gal and Australian Karrie Webb on 138.

Stacy Lewis, the world No 2 who has locked up the Player of the Year award, was two-under through 36 holes.

Lewis, the only player to win four titles this season, needs to win the $500 000 first prize to have a chance of passing money list leader Inbee Park of South Korea.

LEADING SECOND-ROUND SCORES

134 - Ai Miyazato (JPN) 70-64

135 - Na Yeon Choi (KOR) 67-68

136 - Sun Young Yoo (KOR) 66-70

137 - Brittany Lincicome 68-69, Karine Icher (FRA) 67-70, Suzann Pettersen (NOR) 66-71

138 - Sandra Gal (GER) 70-68, Karrie Webb (AUS) 69-69, So Yeon Ryu (KOR) 66-72

139 - Caroline Hedwall (SWE) 70-69, Feng Shanshan (CHN) 70-69, Anna Nordqvist (SWE) 69-70, Lizette Salas 68-71

140 - Brittany Lang 71-69, Amy Yang (KOR) 70-70, Inbee Park (KOR) 70-70, Julieta Granada (PAR) 68-72

141 - Beatriz Recari (ESP) 72-69, Jennifer Johnson 70-71, Cindy Lacrosse 69-72, Jiyai Shin (KOR) 68-73, Cristie Kerr 67-74, Lindsey Wright (AUS) 67-74

142 - Jacqui Concolino 72-70, I.K. Kim (KOR) 72-70, Katherine Hull (AUS) 70-72, Stacy Lewis 70-72

143 - Paula Creamer 72-71, Mina Harigae 72-71, Giulia Sergas (ITA) 71-72

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