Park leads in China, eyes back-to-back wins


Inbee Park is rolling toward back-to-back weeks of going wire-to-wire with victories.

With another 4-under-par 69 Friday, Park moved from a share of the lead through the first round at the World Ladies Championship to sole possession of the lead. She’s one shot ahead of England’s Holly Clyburn (65) and China’s Xiyu Lin (68) halfway through the Ladies European Tour event at Mission Hills in Hainan, China.

World No. 1 Lydia Ko won in back-to-back weeks in Australia and New Zealand already this season, and now Park looks poised to answer with her own run of consecutive wins. Park held off Ko and world No. 3 Stacy Lewis in a final-round battle to win the HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore last weekend.

World No. 5 Suzann Pettersen (72) and No. 8 So Yeon Ryu (73) are both seven shots behind Park in China, where Park is the defending champion.

Though Park is .95 average world ranking points behind Ko in the Rolex rankings, she can’t overtake Ko for the No. 1 ranking this week in China, even with a victory.