Lee takes lead after bogey-free second round at Japan Classic

Tokyo: Australia’s Minjee Lee shot a sparkling eight-under-par 64 to grab a three-stroke lead after the second round of the LPGA Japan Classic on Saturday. Aiming at her second LPGA crown this season, the world number five fired eight birdies with no bogey at par-72 Seta Golf Club in Shiga, improving to 13-under 131. Lee, who was tied for fifth in the first round, displayed a steady performance with precision shots, while first-round leader Ryu So-yeon sank to be tied 13th with three bogeys. “I had no bogeys today and so obviously no bogey round is always a solid round,” Lee said afterwards.

Asked about her strategy on the final day, she said she would “play smart and aggressive at the same time.” Local favourite Sakura Koiwai shot seven birdies with a bogey for a 66 followed by compatriot Nasa Hataoka and Jiyai Shin of South Korea one stroke back. “I’m surprised as I never thought of this result,” Koiwai said. “Since tomorrow is the final day, I want to concentrate on the game hit by hit so that I can have no regret,” she said. China’s Feng Shanshan, the two-time defending champion, shot 71 to be tied 22th, and newly crowned world number one Ariya Jutanugarn was at tied 25th after also carding a 71. — AFP