Xiyu Lin birdied four of the last six holes at Sentosa Golf Club to take the 54-hole lead at an LPGA event for the first time in her career. Lin’s 5-under 67 put her at 14 under at the HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore where a host of major champions are in hot pursuit, including LPGA Hall of Famer Inbee Park.
“Last time I played this tournament was 2016,” said Lin. “So yeah, because I had a really rough year 2017 and took me a long time to get through all these … last year I changed a lot thanks to COVID.
“Coming back here and playing a different course, it’s like a completely different experience. So I just try to feel like a rookie here, so just feeling excited to play.”
Hannah Green, buoyed by a holed-out approach with an 8-iron on the par-4 10th, carded a second consecutive 66 to take a share of second with Park, who shot 70 despite a double-bogey hiccup on the 16th.
“It was a great birdie on No. 18,” said Park. “That really got me probably have a chance to win tomorrow, so I think that was really huge. Tomorrow, obviously, we have a lot of girls in the top; it’s going to be a shootout.”
HSBC Women’s World Championship: Leaderboard
Mexico’s Gaby Lopez carded the day’s low round, 65, to move into fourth, two strokes back. A calm Lopez poured in nine birdies on the day.
“I’m just going to give it all,” she said of Sunday’s plan. “I’m going to press the gas pedal down. I’m going to go, go, go. I’m not going to protect anything because I don’t have anything to protect.
“I’m one of those players that I’m very, very aggressive and my caddie has to slow me down sometimes when I’m going, and trusting when I’m hitting good shots; my caddie knows me too well to kind of let me go, and that’s kind of what we did today.”
Lydia Ko holed out for eagle on the 18th with a 50-degree wedge to move to 10 under, four strokes back of Lin and good for a share of fifth with In Gee Chun and So Yeon Ryu.
“I hit a really good drive and then obviously with the pin being tucked on the right,” said Ko. “Nice to have a short club in and hit a good committed 50-degree and I hit it perfect.”
China’s Lin, an eight-year veteran of the tour, has relied on the advice of compatriot Shanshan Feng, who has preached the importance of staying hydrated and conserving energy this week in the oppressive heat.
The 25-year-old Lin, who is still searching for her first victory on the LPGA. She stayed back in the U.S. last year during the height of the COVID-19 shutdown to train with her coach. Last spring and summer, their main focus was chipping and pitching. Over the winter, she shifted to putting.
“I think for the amount of work I put in, I truly believed it would definitely make a difference,” said the 86th-ranked Lin, “but yeah, I didn’t expect to see it at this week that soon. But I think that’s also one of the keys I was so calm out on the course because I know I’ve been working so hard for all these, so I deserve this.”
original article link https://golfweek.usatoday.com/2021/05/01/lpga-xiyu-lin-hsbc-womens-world/