Arab News Japan
Japan’s Hinako Shibuno fired a four-under par 67, but unfortunately there were no spectators to applaud her performance.
“I feel strange when I make a birdie and it is totally quiet,” Shibuno said after taking a three-stroke lead late on Friday in the 75th US Women’s Open Championship.
The 2019 Women’s British Open champion stood on 7-under 135 after 36 holes at the Champions Golf Club in Houston, Texas.
Shibuno made six birdies and two bogeys on Jackrabbit, one of two courses used along with Cypress Creek for the opening two rounds, and said she couldn’t draw much confidence this week from her major title at Woburn.
“I feel like I’m not really confident at all,” Shibuno said through a translator. “It feels like this is not myself.”
The 22-year-old hopes to capture her US Women’s Open debut after winning her major debut last year.
Shibuno, who won four times last year on the Japan LPGA Tour, opened with a 10-foot birdie putt at the par-5 first, added another at the par-4 sixth and answered her first bogey at the par-4 eighth with birdies at the par-5 10th and par-4 12th.
At the close, she sandwiched birdies at the par-4 15th and 17th around a bogey at the par-3 16th.
“My tee shots found the rough more often, however, my second shots were pretty stable and able to par on to the greens,” Shibuno said.
“So my golf today was pretty safe, stable condition. At the same time, when it came to the chance for a birdie, my putting was pretty good.”
Swedish amateur Linn Grant shot a second 69 to stand second on 138 with Americans Amy Olson, Megan Khang and Kaitlyn Papp another stroke adrift.