World No 1 Sung Hyun Park back on top at LPGA Founders Cup

Top-ranked South Korean Sung Hyun Park made her move at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup on Friday, firing a second straight 66 to grab a share of the lead.

Fresh from her victory at the HSBC Women’s World Championship at the start of the month, Park is once again looking in ominous form at Wildfire Golf Club in Phoenix, Arizona.

She shares the lead with China’s Yu Liu, who fired the low round of the day – an eight-under-par 64 – to rocket 24 places up the leaderboard.

Park and Liu were two strokes clear of a group of eight players on 10-under 134 that included overnight leader Celine Boutier (70), Amy Yang (66), former World No 1 Lydia Ko of New Zealand, who shot her second straight 67.

Some big names follow a shot further back on nine under, including another former World No 1, Inbee Park (66), Nelly Korda (67) and Brooke Henderson (68).

Co-leader Liu admits she was somewhat surprised by her 64, which saw her bounce back from an opening bogey with three straight birdies before adding seven more birdies while dropping just one more shot.

“Just everything kind of clicked all together,” said Liu.

“When a day like this comes, I just am glad I was able to take advantage of it,” she said, adding that the chilly temperatures that greeted her group slowed her early.

“My putting definitely helped me a lot on the front nine. On the back nine the weather warmed up and I was hitting it close and I was able to capitalize on those short- and mid-range birdie putts.”

As for Park, she played her first nine holes in two-under, but then made five birdies during a six-hole stretch on her back nine.

“Overall I’m really happy with the play today, especially putting was really good and the shots were better than yesterday,” she said.