Shin, Ji atop crowded leaderboard in Taipei

South Koreans Jenny Shin and Eun-Hee Ji are tied for the lead at 7-under following two rounds of the Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship in Taipei.

Shin followed a 70 in a rain-soaked first round with a 5-under 67 on Friday, while Ji came back to the pack with a 1-under 71 after beginning the day with a three-shot lead.

“Not as great as yesterday but I don’t feel really bad, you know,” said Ji. “I just struggled with my putting this first nine, and I get just a little bit better on the back nine. I just made it out a little bit, and, yeah, I think I’m pretty happy to make a birdie on the last.”

American Brittany Altomare is one shot off the pace after posting a 4-under 68 on Friday. Altomare, 26, is playing in Chinese Taipei for the first time and seeking her first LPGA Tour victory.

“I haven’t played all the golf courses. Last year I only played Beijing and Blue Bay,” said Altomare. “I’m just kind of like seeing the golf courses and just trying to keep the play that I’ve had going and staying positive through this weather.”

Australia’s Su Oh is another shot back at 5-under, followed by American Megan Khang and Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom at 4-under. Top-ranked So Yeon Ryu from South Korea rebounded from an opening-round 73 to post a 4-under 68 on Friday and is four shots off the lead along with American Brittany Lang.

Several marquee names remain in the hunt entering the weekend, including No. 6 Shanshan Feng from China and American teenager Angel Yin, who is second in the Rookie of the Year standings. Both players are at 2-under, tied for ninths with Spain’s Carlota Ciganda and Azahara Munoz and American Brittany Lincicome.

Former No. 1 Lydia Ko continued her inconsistent play, following up a solid 2-under 70 on Thursday with a 2-over 74 on Friday and is seven shots off the lead in a tie for 17th along with fellow former top-ranked players Ariya Jutanugarn ad Yani Tseng.

NOTES: South Korea’s Sung Hyun Park, who is ranked No. 2 and has all but officially wrapped up Rookie of the Year honors, has posted rounds of 76 and 73 to enter the weekend at 5-over. Canadian teenager Brooke Henderson, the only other Top 10 player in the field this week, is also 5-over after rounds of 74 and 75. … There is no cut in the 80-player field. … Chia Yen Wu, an amateur from Chinese Taipei, was disqualified after the first round for signing an incorrect scorecard. The 13-year-old made headlines by winning a record 30-hole match during the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship in August.

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