Saturday, November 18, 2017
Golf

Feng leads Open as Trump pays a visit

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EDMINSTER, N.J. — Shanshan Feng increased her lead in the U.S. Women's Open and lost the spotlight.

It happens when the president of the United States shows up.

Returning from a short trip to France, President Donald Trump pulled into his Trump National Golf Club on Friday in the middle of the second round of the biggest tournament in women's golf. A few hours later, he watched from an enclosed glass box next to the 14th green and stole the show.

While Trump waved at the fans, gave them the thumbs-up and pumped his fist, three of the top players — Lexi Thompson, Brooke Henderson and Stacy Lewis — were putting on the green.

As they worked, the more than 100 or so fans looked at the president.

Thompson noticed where the attention had gone.

"Not toward the golf," she said.

Henderson, a Canadian, didn't seem to mind.

"It's really amazing that the president of the United States is here to watch us play golf and on a tremendous golf course," said Henderson, who was tied for 10th.

The USGA, which awarded this event to Trump in 2012, took a lot of criticism for failing to move the tournament when comments made by Trump about women came to light in the past year.

It also was suggested that if the president attended the event it would take the spotlight from the players.

It did Friday when he became the first sitting president to attend a U.S. Women's Open. Warren G. Harding (1921) and Bill Clinton (1997) were the only other sitting presidents to attend USGA events, going to the U.S. Open.

Feng was the star on the course for the second straight day. The 27-year-old Chinese player shot 2-under 70 and had a 36-hole total of 8-under 136. Feng, who has had one bogey in 36 holes, didn't see Trump.

"I heard people like kind of screaming so that's what I was trying to find out, like why they were screaming," she said. "But I was still really focusing on my game. I didn't really get distracted."

Amy Yang of South Korea remained in second, although her deficit grew to two shots after her 71.

Jeongeun6 Lee, who has a victory and 10 top-10 finishes this season on the KLPGA Tour, shared second after posting a second straight 69.

Lee uses the "6" after her first name because there are six other South Korean players with the same name.

Michelle Wie withdrew because of a neck injury. The 2014 winner shot 73 Thursday and stopped on her second hole Friday.

PGA: Patrick Rodgers shot 7-under 64 to take a two-shot lead after the second round of the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Ill. Rodgers had eight birdies and a bogey to finish at 13-under 129 at TPC Deere Run. Bryson DeChambeau was second after shooting 65. Local favorite Zach Johnson, the 2012 winner, had 67 to join Charles Howell III, the co-leader after the first round, at 10 under. Howell followed his opening 63 with a 69.

PGA EUROPE: Padraig Harrington (68), Callum Shinkwin (68) and Alexander Knappe (65) shared the lead at 9-under 135 after the second round of the Scottish Open in Irvine. Ian Poulter and Andrew Dodt were a shot back after 69s. Rickie Fowler shot 70 and was two off the lead. But Rory McIlroy's preparations for next week's British Open took another hit when the world No. 4 failed to make the weekend, his third missed cut in his past four events. He shot 1-under 71 to finish 1-over 145.

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