US Women's Open Golf 2017: Shanshan Feng Remains in 1st Through Round 2

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 15, 2017

China's Shanshan Feng reacts after sinking a putt on the second green during the second round of the U.S. Women's Open Golf tournament Friday, July 14, 2017, in Bedminster, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Seth Wenig/Associated Press

On a rainy Friday at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, Shanshan Feng fired a two-under 70 to remain atop the U.S. Women's Open Golf Championship leaderboard through two rounds.

Feng was in first as several golfers finished their first-round play Friday after the action was suspended Thursday due to rain and darkness, and she concluded the second round two shots clear of Hye Jin Choi, Jeongeun6 Lee and Amy Yang at eight-under.

Here is a look at the top performers thus far with two rounds left to play:

1. Shanshan Feng: -8 (70)

T2. Hye Jin Choi: -6 (69)

T2. Jeongeun6 Lee: -6 (69)

T2. Amy Yang: -6 (71)

5. Seon Woo Bae: -5 (69)

T6. Haru Nomura: -4 (69)

T6. In Gee Chun: -4 (70)

T6. Carlota Ciganda: -4 (71)

T6. So Yeun Ryu: -4 (72)

T10. Marina Alex: -3 (70)

T10. Brooke M. Henderson: -3 (71)

T10. Minjee Lee: -3 (72)

T10. Lydia Ko: -3 (73)

The 27-year-old Feng is in search of her second career major title, as the China native won the Women's PGA Championship in 2012.

Feng wasn't as dominant Friday as she was during a six-under first round, but she played clean, consistent golf in less-than-ideal conditions.

She finished the day with just one bogey and three birdies, including this smooth putt on No. 12 to extend her lead, courtesy of the USGA on Twitter:

Several South Korean golfers are in hot pursuit of Feng, including Jeongeun6 Lee, whose unique name is the result of so many players being named Jeongeun Lee on the Korean tour that numerals are added to differentiate them.

Jeongeun6 made some headway in tracking down Feng with a three-under 69, highlighted by the following birdie putt on the 15th:

Perhaps the most impressive performer among those currently in second place was Hye Jin Choi, who is the low amateur at six-under.

She shot a three-under 69 on Friday and was in position to share the lead entering the weekend if not for bogeys on No. 7 and No. 8.

Among the top nine golfers on the leaderboard, only Spain's Carlota Ciganda doesn't hail from an Asian nation.

She trails Feng by four strokes after a one-under 71 on Friday, although she did have a share of the lead at one point after making a long birdie putt on No. 18, her ninth hole of the round after starting on the back:

The Spaniard fell off the pace a bit with two bogeys and no birdies on her second nine, but she remains firmly in the mix.

Only one American is in the top 10 through two rounds in the form of Marina Alex at three-under, while Stacy Lewis, Nelly Korda, Cristie Kerr and Angela Stanford all sit at two-under.

Stanford discussed how tough the course played during the second round, per the LPGA's official Twitter account:

One-time major winner Lexi Thompson is among a host of Americans sitting seven shots off the pace at one-under.

Although she was flirting with the cut line early in the day, she ended with an even-par 72 thanks to a birdie on the 18th:

Arguably the biggest name in golf won't be present over the weekend, as 2014 U.S. Women's Open champion Michelle Wie withdrew from the tournament.

Wie played one hole before withdrawing with a neck injury, and she released a statement regarding her decision on Twitter:

A seven-over 79 in the first round put American Jacqui Concolino in a difficult spot entering the second round in terms of making the cut, and she was unable to do so with an even-par 72.

She did provide the highlight of the day, however, by acing the par-three fourth hole:

There was no shortage of excitement at Trump National on Friday due to the competitiveness of the tournament, but it reached another level when President Donald Trump announced he would be in attendance.

Bill Fields of Golf Digest snapped a photo of Trump arriving at the course:

The president witnessed some high-level play at his golf club despite the stormy weather, and the stage is set for an entertaining battle over the weekend.

Provided there is similar weather in the third and fourth rounds, it will be tough to post low scores and make up a ton of ground.

Those trailing Feng may need her to make some mistakes, but she hasn't yet wavered on the biggest stage in women's golf.


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