Boutier goes bogey-free to claim Singapore lead

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SINGAPORE — Six-time LPGA Tour winner Celine Boutier had a bogey-free round of 8-under 64 on Friday to take a one-stroke lead after two rounds of the HSBC Women’s World Championship.

The 30-year-old French player had a two-round total of 7-under 137 on the Sentosa Golf Club course, a layout a short drive south of the city center.

Ayaka Furue of Japan was in second after a 67. Madelene Sagstrom was in third after a 67, two strokes behind Boutier.

Sarah Schmelzel, who led by one stroke after the opening round of the 66-player, no-cut tournament, shot 72 on Friday and was three behind and in a group of five tied for fourth.

Brooke Henderson shot 66 to move within four shots of the lead. Patty Tavatanakit, who won last week’s LPGA event in Thailand, shot 68 and was also four strokes behind Boutier.

Two-time defending champion Jin Young Ko shot 73 and was at even par, seven shots behind. Minjee Lee, playing for the first time this year on the LPGA Tour, had a 74 and was eight strokes behind.

Lydia Ko, who has 20 career wins, including two majors, shot 70 and was nine behind Boutier.

This is the second of three straight weeks in Asia for the LPGA Tour. Next week the tour moves to China and the Blue Bay event on Hainan Island before heading back across the Pacific and to Palos Verdes, California, for its next tournament beginning March 21.

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