HWC 2011_Round 2_Chie Arimura_Photo Credit to Getty Images
Webb, Choi, Kerr, Pressel, World #1 Tseng Lead Chasing Pack In Singapore
Singapore, 25 February 2011 – Japanese star Chie Arimura continued her impressive display against the powerhouse field at the HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore, posting a second round of six-under-par 66 to stretch her lead to two shots over Australia’s Karrie Webb after 36 holes at Tanah Merah Country Club.
The 23-year-old, a five-time winner on the Japan LPGA in 2010, has posted a two-day total of 10-under 134 at the Garden Course, with Hall of Famer Webb’s own round of 66 pushing her into outright second. Korea’s Sun Young Yoo is two shots further back in third on her own at six-under 138, with another Korean, world number four Na Yeon-choi, and England’s Karen Stupples sharing fourth at four-under 140.
World number 19 Arimura started the second day nervously in her first tournament of 2011, opening bogey-birdie-bogey before an eagle at the fifth – courtesy of holing a pitching-wedge from 80 yards out – ignited her round. The karaoke-loving Japanese added consecutive birdies at the eighth and ninth holes before coming home in three-under 33 to firmly set her sights on victory at HSBC’s ‘Champion of Champions’ tournament.
Said Arimura: “The eagle helped me today, it was great. Early in the round, I did not feel good about my play and my body was very tense. I stretched my body a few times to loosen up and I felt better, then I started to pick up again and play better shots. I didn’t know I made an eagle since I was not able to see it go in, but as soon as I heard the cheers from the spectators, I knew I made it.
“With two more days to go, I need to control my rhythm. Today was a perfect example, I had a rough start but I controlled myself so it got better in the end.” she added.
Amongst the other big names in the HSBC Women’s Champions’ superstar field, Cristie Kerr posted a five-under 67 to rocket into a share of sixth place alongside MJ Hur on three-under 141, with Morgan Pressel’s round of 69 moving her into a tie for eighth at 142, along with Rolex Rankings’ number one Yani Tseng.
The world’s second-ranked player Jiyai Shin, the 2009 HSBC Women’s Champions winner, is equal 10th. Ai Miyazato recorded a second-day two-under 70 to finish in a group sharing 12th on an even-par total of 144, a bunch that includes Michelle Wie who fired a one-under 71 today.
For Webb, the winner of 36 LPGA events throughout her decorated career, the second round was a continuation of the hot form that has seen her open 2011 with three consecutive top-10s in Australia and at last week’s Honda LPGA Thailand.
Said Webb: “I feel great about today’s round. I putted really well. I didn't probably hit it as consistently well as I did yesterday, but I didn't really make any really bad swings. When I missed greens, I was able to get them up and down and then I took advantage of the good iron shots that I hit and made a few birdies.
“It’s nice to be up there on Friday with a chance. I'm looking forward to the weekend and we'll see what happens,” she added.
Singapore’s local favourite, Christabel Goh, recorded three birdies in her second round 79 as her learning experience amongst the very best players in the world continued.
Featuring 63 of the best players in the world, the third round of the HSBC Women’s Champions will tee off tomorrow (Saturday) at 8.25 am at the Garden Course at Tanah Merah Country Club in Singapore.
The leading group (Arimura, Webb and Yoo) will play at 10.15 am, with the 72-hole championship offering a first prize cheque of US$210,000 to the winner.
Marquee names Stupples, Choi and Kerr (10.04 am), Pressel and Tseng (9.53 am), Shin (9.42 am), Miyazato (9.31 am) and Natalie Gulbis (8.25 am) will all play from the first, while Pettersen (8.36 am) will play from the 10th.
Photo - Getty