Feng leads tight contest in Japan

Shanshan Feng is at the top of a congested leaderboard at the halfway stage of the Toto Japan Classic.

The Chinese star drained two birdies on the final two holes to card an eight under 64 in Ibaraki, moving her to 11 under for the tournament, one stroke ahead of Ariya Jutanugarn who shot 68. 

Feng rolled in three birdies on the front nine then lit up the back nine with five more for a flawless round and a course record.

"Right now my confidence level is pretty high, I know how to score," the 27-year-old said after her round.

"The reason why I struggled in the first half of the year, I was actually hitting the ball pretty well but I didn’t know how to score. Now the putting is working and even though I leave myself a 15-footer for birdie I feel comfortable to make it. So now I feel a lot more comfortable and confident on the course."

Meanwhile, Jutanugarn, who has enjoyed a superlative year with five wins on the LPGA Tour, birdied four of her first eight holes but was set back by two bogeys later in the round.

"Front nine I made a lot of putts, so I made a few birdies," said the Thai superstar.

"The back nine my putting wasn’t that good but overall it was pretty good, my putting was just ok today."

Further down the field are Suzann Pettersen and Soo-Yun Kang on nine under and tied in third, while Sun- ju Ahn is one of four South Koreans on eight under.