Lang Leads In Thailand

February 26, 2009

Hong's best finish on the LPGA Tour was a T-4 at the 2008 Evian Masters.

PATTAYA, Thailand (AP) -- American Brittany Lang shot a 3-under 69 on Friday to take a one-stroke lead over compatriots Morgan Pressel and Paula Creamer after the second round of the $1.45 million LPGA Thailand.

Lang used long drives to produce her second straight bogey-free round, giving her a two-day total of 7-under 137 at the 6,477 yard Siam Country Club Pattaya Plantation course.

"It is a great golf course for me," Lang said. "The greens are firm and I hit the ball high. It is a long course, so I can hit the par 5s or par 4s with wedge shots for my approaches to the green. As long as I can use my wedge and my chip, I will have an easy round."

Lang, ranked No. 37 in the world, is chasing her first LPGA victory after having previously finished second at both the 2008 Sybase Classic and the 2005 U.S. Open as an amateur.

"I feel really good on this course," Lang added. "My goal this year is to put myself in the position to win every chance I can get."

Pressel, the youngest major champion at age 18 when she hoisted the 2007 Craft Nabisco trophy, hit successive birdies to finish with a 68.

"It wasn't quite as hot as yesterday," Pressel said. "I guess growing up in Florida helped me to cope with this weather."

"The greens are firm, so it makes it difficult to get the ball close. So, I will go for the pin as often as I can."

In her trademark pink outfit, crowd favorite Creamer stumbled to bogeys on the first and third holes but shook off the early rust to finish with a 70.

"After fifth hole, I felt that I got back to normal," said Creamer, the world's No. 3. "I felt more relaxed and made a couple birdies in a row. From there on, I played pretty solidly. I can't be too upset as to how things went out there today."

Two shots off the lead in a share for fourth were American Angela Stanford (71) and first-round leader Jin Joo Hong of South Korea (73).

The world's top-ranked player, Lorena Ochoa of Mexico, improved after a mediocre opening round Thursday, firing a 69 to move three strokes off the lead.

"I hope I could get a few more birdies to get me in the front position," Ochoa said. "I like where I am. I still have two more days, which will be very important to shoot a lower score."

Even with Ochoa at 4 under were South Korea's Eun-Hee Ji (67), Japan's Mika Miyazato (67), Sweden's Helen Alfredsson (72) and American Kristy McPherson (72).