Jutanugarn, Ko share 2-shot lead in LPGA Tour's LA tourney

Elias Hubbard
April 23, 2018

Lurking two shots back is a Hall of Famer.

Moriya Jutanugarn shot a bogey-free 5-under 66 on Friday at Wilshire Country Club to get to 8-under 134 in the LPGA Tour's first event in Los Angeles since 2005.

Ko shot a 66 in her bid to become the year's first two-time victor on the LPGA Tour. However, the elder Jutanugarn, who finished second at the LPGA Thailand in Pattaya in February, did not show any signs of nerves on Sunday as she appeared in solid concentration despite having late bogey on the 16.

When Jutanugarn talks about what it's been like waiting for this win, she talks about staying patient and trusting in the work that she's been doing. "I won 11 times, so if I win tomorrow, maybe I change to 12". "I think I was able to trust it more".

In the shadows of Hollywood Minjee Lee has produced a thriller of a finish to put herself in contention for a fourth LPGA Tour title at the Hugel-JTBC Championship.

Seven-time victor Ariya tied for 24th after a 70.

Usually when one of the Thai sisters is in the lead, the other will watch when her round is finished. "Finally my week. Actually, my sister cried more than me".

Ji Eun-hee shot a 71 and tied for fifth with Emma Talley as four of the top six players were from South Korea to the delight of the large Korean expat crowd that was in attendance. "Just playing in the afternoon, it's so much tougher to hole a putt".

"I kind of started off a little bad".

"I was really nervous", Ariya said. "I left a few putts out there". It just make this week really special for me. "You just don't know what's going to happen". Moriya opened with a double bogey and took another bogey at the par-4 sixth before turning her round around with a birdie at the par-4 eighth. She eagled the par-4 14th. "I just, like, keep doing what I'm doing", said Jutanugarn, who lost to Danielle Kang in the finals of the 2010 U.S. Women's Amateur, "and finally it worked out pretty good".

"I think it's a nice, fun golf course", Alex said.

Ko's tee shot on 18 landed about 4 feet from the cup, giving her a chance to cut Jutanugarn's lead to one shot with the Thai facing a long birdie attempt.

"It feels great", said Moriya. Her ball found a sandy hazard on the 17th with a scoreboard and a winding creek in between her and the green 190 yards away.

Top-ranked Shanshan Feng shot a 70 and was in a six-way tie for 12th at 2 under.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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