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Lee clinging to hope at US Women's Open

(Photo: Bruce Young)
A fighting back nine has kept Minjee Lee on the fringes of contention at the US Women’s Open, the 21-year-old heading to the weekend inside the top 10 in New Jersey.

The West Australian got off to a poor start in round two at Trump National Bedminster, a costly double bogey at her fourth hole of the day dropping her well down the standings before a gutsy inward nine.

Lee was just three off the pace at the start of the day courtesy of an opening 3-under 69 and managed to salvage an even par score Friday with three birdies and a bogey on her second nine.

Persistent rains made scoring a more difficult prospect on day two, Lee’s 3-under 36-hole total seeing her fall from three shots behind to five off the pace heading to the weekend. Importantly, though, she trails only nine players.

Lee led a four strong contingent of Australians to qualify for the weekend with Katherine Kirk, Su Oh and Karrie Webb also making the cut.

Sarah Jane Smith and amateur Robyn Choi both failed to advance, Smith with scores of 72-77 while Choi found the going tough on her way to 76-77.

Kirk posted a frustrating 1-over 73 Friday with three birdies and four bogeys to head to the weekend 1-under and T21.

The Queenslander is playing some of the best golf of her career after capturing her third LPGA title last week seven years after her second and is on track for a career best US Open finish.

Starting at the 10th Kirk was in great positon when she birdied her 11th hole of the day to move to 4-under but handed back shots at the 3rd, 4th and 9th to slip to 1-over for the round and 1-under for the tournament.

The final hole bogey dropped her seven places down the leaderboard but while seven shots behind the outright leader Shanshan Feng she is still well in the hunt.

Karrie Webb and Su Oh played together the first two days and matched total scores, both 1-over and T41 through 36 holes.

Webb posted 74-71 while Oh had the reverse and at nine behind will need something special over the weekend if they are to contend.


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