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Hsu, Moriya share LPGA Pure Silk Championship lead

WASHINGTON – Taiwan’s Hsu Wei-Ling birdied the final hole Saturday to cap a six-under par 65 and join Thailand’s Moriya Jutanugarn atop the leaderboard at the LPGA Pure Silk Championship.

First-round leader Hsu had roared back up the leaderboard with five straight birdies on the front nine at Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Virginia. She finished with eight birdies and two bogeys on the day for a 10-under par total of 203. Moriya, meanwhile, eagled the par-five seventh and added five birdies in her six-under 65. The two were one stroke in front of American Jessica Korda, who grabbed solo second on nine-under 204 with seventh birdie of the day at the 18th that gave her a four-under 67. 

Hsu, 26 and ranked 108th in the world, is chasing a first US LPGA Tour title. She said the dry conditions helped her get it close on three to launch her early birdie run. As the birdies piled up, she said, she tried to focus on each shot. “I just try to hit every single shot the place I want to be,” she said. “And the iron performance those couple holes are really good. Just I put a lot of ball, like, right next to the pin, and the putting definitely helped a little bit.” 

As she goes into Sunday, Hsu said, she’ll be hoping her shot at the title gives a little light relief to friends and family at home in Taiwan, where coronavirus cases have risen again. “Hopefully I’m going to have even better performance tomorrow and hopefully I can share this good news to my family and the people in Taiwan,” she said.

The 26-year-old Moriya is aiming to add another trophy to her 2018 Los Angeles Open crown. Korda is in search of a seventh title, having nabbed her sixth at the Tournament of Champions this year. The American got off to a strong start with three birdies in her first four holes. She rebounded from a bogey at the fifth with a birdie at the seventh, but stalled with bogeys at eight and 10 before birdies at three of her last four holes.

Overnight leader Sarah Kemp of Australia was cruising with two front-nine birdies before a double-bogey at the 11th. She responded with birdies at the 12th and 14th in a two-under 69 that left her tied on 205 with American Lizette Salas, who stormed up the leaderboard with a seven-under par 64.

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