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Nomura climbs into contention

Kyodo

Harukyo Nomura moved into contention to win her second career LPGA Tour title on Friday after a 4-under-par 68 put her within three strokes of the lead at the midway point of the HSBC Women’s Champions.

Nomura, who captured her maiden victory at last month’s Women’s Australian Open, reeled off four birdies in a flawless round at the Sentosa Golf Club’s par-72 Serapong Course to sit in a three-way tie for ninth at 5-under 139.

“The short birdie putts would not fall but the long ones did so I am glad about that,” said Nomura, who started the day in 27th after opening with a 71.

“My approach and bunker shots were good. I’ll make sure I sink the short putts in the third round.”

Jang Ha-na of South Korea (66) and compatriot Lee Mi-rim (67) shared the second-round lead, while Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum and Norway’s Suzann Pettersen shared third at 7 under.

Mika Miyazato started the day tied for third, but a round of 75 that included five bogeys saw her slide down the leaderboard into a share of 31st at 1 under.

“I made four bogeys on the front nine and didn’t have any chances. That’s just the kind of day it’s been,” said Miyazato. “(But) I was patient and didn’t make any bad shots on the back nine.”

Sakura Yokomine had a 74 and was at 3 over tied for 48th, while former world No. 1 Ai Miyazato had a hole-in-one on the eighth hole but a 73 left her at 6 over tied for 56th.

“I could not do that well in the second half of my round but the last three holes (including the eighth) were good. I need a little bit more to regroup.”