The players got a pleasant break from Thailand’s usual sticky, humid heat for the second round at the Honda LPGA Thailand but they struggled with some tricky new pin locations and soggy course conditions that resulted from the early morning, temperature-lowering showers. Swede Anna Nordqvist, who managed to hold on to her lead even with an even par round, described the challenge:
A lot of them were on ridges, and I felt like I hit a lot of good shots and kept spinning off the ridges. Not much you can do. Today I felt like all things were good. Just couldn’t get any putts to drop.
Although Nordqvist kept her hold on the top of the board, there was changeover in the top-five rankings. Michelle Wie, who started the second round in second place and trailing Nordqvist by three strokes, carded 73 and dropped down to the fifth slot on the board.
An international trio, Spain’s Azahara Muñoz, Paraguay’s Julieta Granada, and Germany’s Sandra Gal got in control of the pin placements, shot sub-par rounds, and took over the 2nd spot Wie vacated.
Gal agreed with Nordqvist. The pin placement was challenging:
I think some of the pins were quite tough today tucked in corners where usually you just would go for the middle of the green, and then on top of that you would have maybe one or two putts more because you just don’t get any roll.
Stacy Lewis, who’s sharing the fifth spot on the board with Michelle Wie going into the third round, carded 69 today. Yesterday Lewis’s game was up and down. She signed a card that included both two eagles and a double bogey. Today was smoother for Lewis. With the softer conditions she was able to successfully play a more aggressive game.
Park vs Pettersen
Rolex Ranked No. 1 Inbee Park started the second round in 14th place, played a steady game, carded 71, and climbed up to 11th.
Rolex Ranked No. 2 Suzann Pettersen started the second round in 6th place, three shots off the lead. Pettersen struggled with the pin placement, used up 32 putts, carded 73, and slid down the board to a share of 11th place.
Park and Pettersen are going into the third round trailing Anna Nordqvist by four shots and all tangled up in a crowd of players at -2 for the tournament. They’ll both need hotter flat sticks if they hope to break out of the logjam and get closer to the top tomorrow.
New Zealander Lydia Ko carded 70, putting her at -2 for the tournament and sharing the 11th spot on the board with Park, Pettersen, Jenny Shin, Lexi Thompson and Caroline Hedwall going into the 3rd round.
Americans Paula Creamer and Jessica Korda were victims of the tricky pin placements. After shooting even par in the first round, Creamer struggled with her putter today, carded a 77 and is going into the third round at +5 for the tournament, well down the board. Korda, who came into the round at +2, also carded 77, which puts her at +7 for the tournament. Ouch!
The third round of the Honda LPGA Thailand will unfold at the Siam Country Club in Chonburi, Thailand under sunny skies with light winds and temperatures in the mid-90s, more typical local weather that will present yet another change in course conditions to challenge play.
The Golf Channel will provide delayed coverage of the third round on Saturday, February 22, from 2-6pm ET and I’ll be back with a post-round wrap-up as well.