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Minjee Lee takes outright lead at LPGA Tour's LA Open

Lee continues what has been a fine season to date. (Photo: Getty Images)
Minjee Lee continued what has already been a fine season on the LPGA Tour by snatching a one-shot lead at the Hugel-Air Premia LA Open at the Wilshire Country Club in Los Angeles.

In breezy conditions, Lee added a second round of 69 to her opening 66, the highlight coming when holing a wedge at the 14th hole.

Lee added another birdie at the 16th hole to move two clear of the field but missed a relatively short putt for par at the 17th and takes a narrow lead over Denmark’s Nanna Koerstz Masden into the weekend.

Lee who has been twice runner-up and once 3rd in eight starts to date in 2019 began her round with a bogey but birdied the 9th to make the turn in even par. It was at the 14th however where she took the lead with an eagle.

“Actually, I made a lot of par saves today," said Lee when asked how she managed to score so well in the more difficult afternoon conditions. “I think like four, five footers, and that's really important will the poana greens, especially in the afternoon.

“So I think that really helped me with my score today. And, yeah, just grinded it out there and just stayed patient.”

American Morgan Pressel and Mexico’s Gaby Lopez are another shot back in a share of 3rd place.

Lee’s fellow West Australian, Hannah Green, led after round one and today started out where she left off with three early birdies before dropping four shots in four holes through the turn. She would drop another shot at her 17th hole but is just three from Lee’s lead and in a share of 5th place.

Katherine Kirk and Sarah Jane Smith are other Australians to have made the cut, that pair tied for 31st at even par and seven shots from the lead.

Queenslander, Smith, is playing her final event before the arrival of her and husband Duane's baby boy in several weeks. Smith was on the edge of contention before dropping three shots in her last two holes including a double bogey at the last.

 

 

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