Pornanong Phatlum birdied 7 of her 1st 10 holes and hung on to post a 65 on moving day at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia, which left her 3 shots ahead of Ayako Uehara, 4-up on Chella Choi, Shanshan Feng, Lydia Ko, and So Yeon Ryu, and 5-up on Ariya Jutanugarn, Na Yeon Choi, and Ilhee Lee. Despite going +1 over her last 8 holes, Phatlum got off easy compared to most of her nearest competitors. Sure, Jutanugarn fired a 9-birdie 64, NYC closed with a bogey-free 32, and Uehara with a bogey-free 33, and Feng and Lee put together bogey-free rounds. But Ko double bogeyed the par-5 12th, Ryu finished with a pair of doubles and was +5 over her final 6 holes, and Chella Choi took a quad on the par-4 14th.
At least they're in the hunt. Suzann Pettersen (+1) and Lexi Thompson (E) have made 6 doubles between the 2 of them, Karrie Webb (-2) and Paula Creamer (-2) haven't been able to sustain any runs, and Anna Nordqvist (-4), Stacy Lewis (-5), and Azahara Munoz (-6) haven't been able to get it going, either.
So with the biggest names in the field practically holding the door open for Phatlum and Uehara, the 2-time LET winner and 3-time JLPGA winner both have great chances for their 1st-ever LPGA victories. Let's see if either of them can bust through it tomorrow!