World No 1 Ochoa falters in Singapore

SINGAPORE: World No 1 Lorena Ochoa faltered in the sweltering heat at the HSBC Women’s Champions tournament in Singapore on Friday with American Angela Stanford and South Korea’s Kim Song-Hee tied for the lead at the half-way mark.

The American and South Korean topped the leaderboard at five-under for 139 as they head into the weekend at the $1.3 million, the second tournament of the USLPGA season. Ochoa’s hopes of reclaiming the title she won two years ago appeared remote as the Mexican made four bogeys and carded a seven-over for a three-over total of 147, leaving her tied at 39th position with five others.

Stanford made four birdies but dropped shots on the back nine with three bogeys. “I felt like I played the front nine really well and the back nine not so well,” said Stanford. “So I don’t know. I just made a couple of bad decisions and 14 (14th hole) is hard.”

Kim, who shares the

lead with Stanford going into the third round,

was two-under as she fired a 70. She made four birdies but bogeyed the 12th

and 17th hole. “Overall, I didn’t make many mistakes today and putting-wise, also good,” Kim, ranked 14th in the world, said through a translator.

Defending champion Shin Ji-Yai was three

shots behind the leaders, with a one-under par score taking the world number two’s total to a two-under 142. Japan’s Ai Miyazato put in another round of solid performance to put herself in contention, sharing third place with four others including American Juli Inkster and Norway’s Suzann Pettersen, the world No 3. Miyazato, who won the season opener

in Thailand last week,

posted a 71 for a four-under total of 140.