Vongtaveelap shoots 65 to lead LPGA Thailand

Vongtaveelap shoots 65 to lead LPGA Thailand

PATTAYA, Thailand — Natthakritta Vongtaveelap finished strongly with six birdies on the back nine to take a 1-shot lead over Maja Stark after a 7-under 65 in the second round at the LPGA Thailand on Friday.

The 20-year-old Thai player had two birdies against a bogey on the front nine before six more birdies, including four straight on Nos. 12-15, for 12-under 132 overall at Siam Country Club.

“I played according to my game plan even though I didn’t putt the way I would have wanted at the front nine,” said Vongtaveelap, who earned her tour card through Q-school in December. “But after I started making birdies at the back, I was getting more and more confident.”

She has won all three events she has competed in this season, including two on a local tour.

“Of course I’m confident with my game now, but other players have more experience than I do,” Vongtaveelap said.

Stark had a bogey-free 67.

“It was very steady,” the 23-year-old said. “I think I only really had to save one par. Solid irons.”

Nelly Korda (66) had an eagle on the 10th along with five birdies and a bogey to share third at 10 under with Celine Boutier (66), Emily Kristine Pedersen (67), Jaravee Boonchant (69) and Jenny Shin (68).

Korda is hoping to match her sister Jessica Korda’s win here in 2018.

“It would be great,” Nelly Korda said. “Still 36 holes away from that.”

World No. 1 Lydia Ko (68) is tied for 15th.

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