Japan’s Furue grabs one-stroke LPGA lead

Japan’s Ayaka Furue, chasing her first LPGA triumph on US soil, fired a bogey-free, five-under par 67 to seize a one-stroke lead after Friday’s second round of the LPGA Meijer Classic.

The 23-year-old from Kobe made five birdies to stand on 11-under 133 after 36 holes at Blythefield Country Club in Belmont, Michigan.

“My shots and putting were really good. That worked for me,” Furue said. “I just want to keep playing my golf and get confidence as well.”

South Koreans Amy Yang and Kim Hyo-joo, Ireland’s Leona Maguire and Spain’s Carlota Ciganda shared second on 134.

World number 17 Furue, an eight-time winner on the Japan Tour, won her only LPGA title at last year’s Scottish Open but has been impressive this season with five top-four finishes in her past nine events, including a runner-up effort at last month’s LPGA Match-Play tournament.

“I felt really happy to keep in the highest places before this week,” she said. “That’s why I could really get confidence.”

Furue, who began on the back nine, birdied the par-3 11th and had back-to-back birdies at the par-5 18th and par-4 first then birdied both front side par-5 holes, the fourth and eighth, to grab the lead.

Her closest call for a bogey came at the par-4 third hole.

“My ball was caught in the bunker and I had to do a layup,” Furue said. “I made six meters (for) par. It was my impressive one.”

Maguire reeled off four birdies in a row from the 12th through 15th holes and closed with an eagle to shoot 65.

“I’ve been hitting it nice all day, giving myself lots of chances,” said Maguire. “It was nice to go on that run 12, 13, 14, 15. Obviously a bonus to finish with an eagle at the end.

“Everybody is going low. You feel like you have to be making birdies to even just stay in position, let alone move up. Just more of the same over the weekend.”

Yang had five birdies in a bogey-free round while seventh-ranked Kim had eight birdies against a lone bogey.

“My ball striking was really good,” Yang said. “Putting has been working well. Just everything worked well.”

Ciganda went six-under on the par-5 holes with two birdies and two eagles in a 66.

“Overall very happy,” Ciganda said. “Playing good, making putts and excited for the weekend.”

A pack on 135 included India’s Aditi Ashok, Australia’s fifth-ranked Minjee Lee, US defending champion Jennifer Kupcho, Belgium’s Manon De Roey, American Lindsay Weaver-Wright and Denmark’s Emily Kristine Pedersen.

Subscribe to

Stay in the know with Bilyonaryo’s unparalleled coverage of business news and global industries!

Elevate your understanding of the Philippine business landscape and gain insights into worldwide markets by subscribing to our dedicated channels. Receive breaking news, in-depth analyses, and exclusive interviews with industry leaders directly on Viber, WhatsApp, and Facebook. Stay informed and empowered with our Email Newsletter, delivering curated content right to your inbox.

Don’t miss out on crucial updates and trends shaping economies and businesses both locally and internationally.

Join Bilyonaryo’s community today by clicking the button below to subscribe and stay ahead in the dynamic world of business.

Share this Bilyonaryo story