South Korea’s Lee Jee-young fired a bogey-free eight-under par 64 on Friday to seize a one-stroke lead over Japan’s Ai Miyazato after the second round of the LPGA Founders Cup.
One day after Miyazato set a course-record with a 63 at Wildfire Golf Club, Lee shot the second-best round ever at the 6,583-yard layout to nudge her way atop the leaderboard past Miyazato with American Stacy Lewis third on 133.
Lee began her birdie binge at the par-5 fifth and then closed the front nine with three birdies. She stretched her run to four in a row by starting the back nine the same way, needing only 12 strokes on four par-4 holes.
Lee then closed with birdies on three of the last four holes.
Miyazato birdied three of the first five holes, but took her first bogey of the event at the par-3 six and even after back-to-back birdies closed the front nine with another bogey.
Birdies at the par-5 11th and par-4 12th put her back in the swing, but she followed a birdie at the par-4 16th with another at the par-4 18th to finish one stroke behind Lee.
Lewis was four strokes back in third after a 65. She holed out from 109 yards for eagle on the par-4 16th — her seventh hole of the day — and played the back nine in four under with five birdies and a bogey.
Lewis has a chance to take the top spot in the world from Yani Tseng of Taiwan with a victory.
“If I ever get to No. 1, I’m going to enjoy it because I never as a kid dreamed of being in that position,” Lewis said. “It’s definitely on my mind.”
Tseng, the defending champion, was two under after a 72. She entered the week with a 22-event, 50-week winless streak, while Lewis has won five times in her last 22 tournaments.
“I think Yani’s put a lot of pressure on herself,” Lewis said. “I think she’s kind of taken the expectations up another level and I definitely think the state she’s at right now with her game, I think if she did lose it, I think she would start to play better.”
Australian Lindsey Wright, Taiwan’s Candie Kung, South Korean Amy Yang and Americans Danielle Kang and Gerina Piller shared fourth on 135.
Kung has had six top-10 finishes on the LPGA Tour between 2009 and last year and finished tied for fifth at the HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore at the beginning of the month.
Another Taiwanese player, Amy Hung, missed the cut.