CHONGQING, Oct. 14 (Xinhua) -- Chinese amateurs dominated the leader board during second round play at the Chongqing Challenge Saturday as 17-year-old Liu Yu fired a four-under 68 to take a two-shot lead at the 500,000RMB China LPGA Tour event.
Fourteen-year-old national team player Shi Yuting, who won two amateur events in September, continued her steady play shooting 68 over the Chongqing Poly Golf Club South Course to sit equal second with compatriot Xia Xin (72).
Veteran Zhang Na (73) was alone in fourth three shots back, while overnight leader Yeh Hsin-ning ballooned to a 75 to sit four shots off the pace with amateur He Muni (74).
Starting the day three shots back, Liu battled through the wet conditions and quickly got into contention with four birdies on the front nine. After a double-bogey six on the 10th when she had to return to the tee following an unplayable lie, she bounced back to pick up strokes at the 12th and 14th holes before playing par golf back to the clubhouse.
"It's a perfect round except for the double bogey at No. 10. I had many good iron shots very close to the pin and many birdie chances. I'm happy to grab those chances, especially on the front nine. This golf course is a great challenge so if you bogey some holes you shouldn't panic," Liu said.
After finishing fifth at last month's Tianjin Challenge where she carded a 74 playing in the final group, the Beijing native said she learned from the experience and it would help her in Chongqing.
"I think I can deal with pressure in the final group tomorrow. In fact, I'm a little bit disappointed that Zhang Na is not in the same group with me. She's a great player and if I can win in the same group as her it's a great satisfaction."
The back nine proved the downfall of Xia for a second consecutive day. After three birdies on the front nine to get to five-under, the Beijing native carded a bogey-five on the 10th hole. Recovering for a birdie three at the 13th to take the tournament lead at five-under, she then bogeyed the 17th and took a double-bogey seven at the last after finding bunker trouble.
"That was my first time atop the leader board and this is whole new world to me. I felt a little bit panic at the last two holes. I am too greedy at the last hole. I'm eager to finish with a good birdie," Xia said. "This is a lesson which I will carry into the last day. Tomorrow, I will try my best to play solid from tee to green and avoid thinking too much."
Veteran Zhang lamented how difficult it was to get it going in the wet conditions as her two birdies on the front nine were offset by two bogeys on the back nine for her even-par round. The 30-year-old Beijinger, a former China No. 1, is looking to end a four year winless streak.
"Every player wants to be on the top. A win is a confirmation that your work and practice went in the right direction," she said.
"I haven't won for four years. I was injured and was off for a year (with back problems), then I was pregnant and gave a birth to a baby (in January). But it's a long while. Let us see what will happen tomorrow. A one or two shots gap is nothing. The one who has a steady mind will stand out down the stretch."