Zhang among 4 tied for LPGA Match Play lead as wind wrecks field.

NORTH Las Vegas — Rose Zhang's two-stroke lead with two holes to play Thursday turned into a four-way tie for first place at the LPGA Tour's T-Mobile Match Play in the afternoon due to the high wind.  

After two straight bogeys in the second round of stroke-play at Shadow Creek, Zhang tied first-round leader Sei Young Kim, Carlota Ciganda, and Angel Yin at 4-under 140. Warm temperatures and moderate wind made early play ideal for the later two. The predicted gusts of over 40 mph challenged course players. No afternoon tee time player broke par.  

Zhang stated, “Shadow on its own is always a very difficult golf course and very easy to shoot over par here.” “Wind makes it ten times harder. I saw some scores and the cut line, which justifies how hard we played today.”  

The anticipated cut went from 5-over par to 9 over in three hours, with 67 players qualifying. LPGA Tour's highest cut line since 2020 Women's British Open. The top eight on Friday proceed to the weekend, and any tie for the final position will be decided by playoff. The event then switches to matches. The first three years were match-play only.

Zhang birdied No. 16 after hitting her approach ball within 3 feet. After bogeying the 17th and hitting her drive on No. 18 into the sea, she shot 73 in the second round. Kim struggled on her last nine, twice lipping out putts to finish 74. “Even with a tough golf course and tough conditions, I kind of enjoyed it,” Kim remarked. It’s fun. Many considerations on the green and each hole is difficult.”  

The Ford Championship in Arizona saw Ciganda tie for third, continuing her outstanding play from last week. She shot 67 without bogey. This is Yin's first event since breaking her leg in Austria the week after Thanksgiving. Ibuprofen helped her navigate the tough 6,765-yard course, scoring 68.  

“I’m just happy to play,” Yin remarked. I can rest next week since there's no tournament. It would be great to discuss my game this week, as I grow with every round. Las Vegas resident Danielle Kang started the day tied for second with Zhang but shot an 83 on her home course to make the cut at 6 over.  

World No. 1 Nelly Korda's hopes of extending her three-tournament winning streak survive after she shot 73 for the second day in a row, placing her at 2 over. Defending champion Pajaree Anannarukarn shot 79 and was 9 over, just making the event.  

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