World #1 Inbee Park followed up yesterday's 64 at the Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship with a 62 to get to -18 and take a 3-shot lead on Shanshan Feng. Park's ten-under-par round included a bogey on the par-4 4th and an eagle on the par-4 8th, along with 9 birdies, while Feng's 65 was marred only by back-to-back bogeys early on the back 9.
Even as Park and Feng battle it out for world domination, the Rookie of the Year race is heating up. Mirim Lee fired a bogey-free 62 of her own today to catch Lydia Ko (65) and Line Vedel (68) at -10. Despite birdieing 6 holes in a row on the front and 7 of her 1st 10, ROY race leader Ko offset her last birdie of the day on the par-3 14th with a bogey on the par-4 15th. As Lee racked up 5 birdies on each side, Vedel had an up-and-down front, with 2 bogeys and 2 birdies, but turned it on during the back with 5 birdies (and a lone bogey) in her last 8 holes. If either Lee or Vedel are going to put any pressure on Ko down the home stretch, they're going to need to outdistance her over the weekend and challenge Park and Feng for the title.
That's a tall order, especially when you consider that Azahara Munoz joins them at -10, recent world #1 and leader in every significant year-long LPGA race Stacy Lewis is at -9, 2-time champion Suzann Pettersen is at -7, and there are a bunch of golfers at -8 playing well enough to win this thing, including So Yeon Ryu, Na Yeon Choi, and Chella Choi.
Given how many big numbers have been posted already this week--Lewis doubled the par-4 9th, Michelle Wie made her 2nd triple of the week, this time on the par-4 4th (she's well back at -6), Brittany Lang tripled the par-5 12th (she's -7)--it's too soon to think that the lead chase pack near -10 can't chase down Park and Feng. But it's likely that somebody in that pack will need to put together a course record on Saturday or Sunday to really put some pressure on them.
[Update 1 (8:10 am): Congrats to Danielle Kang for winning her 2nd car in as many weeks with her 2nd hole in 1!!!]