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Tseng leads through 36 at Founders Cup

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PHOENIX – Top-ranked Yani Tseng shot a 2-under 70 on Friday to take a one-stroke over five players after the second round of the LPGA Founders Cup.

A day after playing a seven-hole stretch on the back nine in 7 under, the Taiwanese star opened with nine pars on the same nine. She had three birdies and a bogey on her final nine to reach 9-under 135 on another perfect day at Wildfire Golf Club.

“Front nine, it’s very sorry,” Tseng said. “I was like, `Oh, yesterday I make birdie here. How could I make par.’ And it was not even close. A couple holes, I was trying to make safe par, but yesterday it was so easy.

Second-ranked Na Yeon Choi was second along with fellow South Korean players I.K. Kim and Meena Lee and Japan’s Ai Miyazato and Mika Miyazato.

“I’m very satisfied what I did today,” said Choi, who had a 69. “The weather is good like yesterday, but I heard tomorrow and Sunday the weather will be a little cold and windy, so I have to prepare for that. I think I’m in good position right now, but I have two more rounds.”

Kim had a 66, Lee and Mika Miyazato shot 67, and Ai Miyazato had a 68.

“I played in the afternoon yesterday, so the fairways and greens were pretty firm, but this morning it was really soft,” Ai Miyazato said. “And I thought I can be more aggressive, but I was a little bit impatient on the front nine.”

Tseng successfully defended her LPGA Thailand title in February for her 13th LPGA victory. She led the tour last season with seven victories — including major victories in the LPGA Championship and Women’s British Open — and finished the year with 12 worldwide titles.

“The next two days are very important, but I will keep the same strategy, be aggressive and try to make more birdies as I can and play smart,” Tseng said.

Paula Creamer (68) was two strokes back along with defending champion Karrie Webb (69), Karen Sjodin (68), Inbee Park (69), Jiyai Shin (71) and Hee Young Park (72).

Park was level with Tseng for the first-round lead after a 65.