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Late stumble but Minjee Lee poised at Women's British Open

Standing on the 16th tee Lee was a clear leader (Photo: Ladies European Tour )
West Australian Minjee Lee might have lost the lead at the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Royal Lytham& St Annes but she is beautifully positioned for a weekend run at her first major title.

A double bogey at shortish par 4 16th followed by a bogey at the demanding 17th brought undone some brilliant work earlier in her round but she finds herself just one behind the leader Pornanong Phatlum

Lee added a second round of 70 to be at 9 under and in a share of second place with England’s Georgia Hall, and Japan’s Mamiko Higa, that trio one ahead of Taiwan’s Teresea Lu with Korea’s Sung Hyun Park alone in 6th place at 7 under and three from the lead.  

“On 16 I hit the wrong shot, the wrong line and got stuffed in the bunker there so obviously it wasn’t a good hole and then on 17 I hit it in the bunker again, said Lee. “So two bad holes today but the rest was pretty good."

Lee recognises that she has had perhaps the better of the draw on the opening two days. “We haven’t had much wind yesterday so that was in out favour yesterday afternoon and this morning.”

“The air was a little heavier (today) and the ball is not flying as far so it was playing a little longer,” she added referring to the drizzly conditions early on day two.

The leader Phatlum has won an unofficial event on the LPGA Tour when successful at the 2012 Brasil Cup but there have been three runner-up finishes in regular events since joining the tour in 2009.

In eight previous Women’s British Open starts Phatlum has missed seven cuts but with consecutive bogey free rounds of 67 she has turned that form on its head.

“My game plan has been good and I got a lot of experience last week especially learning the importance of hitting away from the bunkers (laughing),” said the leader.

So Yeon Ryu is at 6 under and four from the lead, Brooke Henderson is at 5 under after her round of along with Lydia Ko and Ariya Jutanugarn improved with a round of 70 but is still seven shots from Phatlum.

Of the other Australians in the field aside from Lee, Su Oh and Rebecca Artis are tied for 31st and Hannah Green just made it to the weekend on the cutline.

Katherine Kirk, Sarah Kemp, Karrie Webb and Sarah Jane Smith all missed out on a place in the final 36 holes.



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