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Ha Na Jang shoots 62, takes 6-shot lead in LPGA Taiwan

Associated Press Associated Press 8/10/2016

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Ha Na Jang shot a 10-under 62 in calmer conditions Saturday at rainy Miramar to take a six-stroke lead in the Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship.

Chasing her third victory of the year, the 24-year-old South Korean player hit a 30-yard flop shot to a foot in steady rain on the par-5 18th for her 10th birdie of the day.

"Really surprised my play because weather so bad on the back nine," Jang said. "But just be patient every hole. Just simple my thinking. Just thinking hitting the flag and hitting the fairway."

After shooting a 69 in high wind and early rain Friday for a share of the lead with fellow South Korean player Hee Young Park, Jang had her lowest score in her two-year LPGA Tour career and matched the best round in the three years the event has been played at Miramar.

"I want keep this, my scorecard," Jang said. "Always I want inside my pocket."

South Korea's Inbee Park set the Miramar mark in 2014 and England's Jodi Ewart Shadoff tied it earlier Saturday.

Jang birdied three of the last four holes to reach 16-under 200. She hit a wedge to 4 feet on 15, made a 30-foot putt on 16 and closed the bogey-free round with the tap-in on 18 after the flop that landed on a ridge and trickled down.

China's Shanshan Feng was second after a 67, and Hee Young Park was another shot back after a 69. Canada's Brooke Henderson and South Africa's Lee-Anne Pace each shot 69 to get to 8 under.

"I don't really look at leaderboards," Feng said. "But somebody else told me Ha Na shot like 62 today. ... Somebody shot 62 today. Maybe I'll shoot 62 tomorrow. Who knows?"

Shadoff was tied for eighth at 6 under. After opening with rounds of 78 and 70, she birdied 10 of the first 15 holes and closed with three pars.

"It was getting the ball in the fairway," Shadoff said. "The rough out here is so thick that it's really hard to get spin from the rough. It's tough even chipping from around the greens. So, I was just in the fairway."

American Alison Lee also rebounded to get to 6 under, shooting 65.

Defending champion Lydia Ko was tied for 16th at 4 under after a 69. The top-ranked New Zealander won by nine strokes last year at 20 under.

Jang started fast with a wedge to 3 feet on No. 1 and hit another to 5 feet on the fifth, then holed putts of 10 feet on the sixth, 8 feet from the fringe on the seventh, and 15 feet on the ninth. She chipped in for birdie from 15 feet on 11, and made a 12-footer on 12.

Jang won her first tour title in February in Florida and added her second victory three events later in Singapore.

She also drew strong criticism in South Korea for her flamboyant victory celebrations — a "Samurai Lasso" routine in Ocala and a "Beyonce Single Ladies" dance in Singapore — and a freak accident that sidelined rival In Gee Chun with a back injury. Before the Singapore tournament, Jang's father dropped a hard-case suitcase that tumbled down an airport escalator and struck Chun.

She was asked about a possible victory celebration.

"I don't want to tell nobody. Just top secret," Jang said. "I think not much like dance or something, just little quiet celebration."

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