(Reuters) - American Alison Lee, seeking her first LPGA Tour victory, piled up five birdies and a sole bogey to move two strokes clear after the second round of the Kingsmill Championship in Williamsburg, Virginia on Friday.
The 20-year-old rookie, who turned professional in December after qualifying school, picked up three shots in her first seven holes on the way to a four-under-par 67 on Kingsmill’s River Course for a nine-under total of 133.
”Coming into today I felt really confident, especially after my round yesterday,“ Lee told reporters. ”I was striking the ball well, was putting well and got it rolling on the front nine.
”Too bad on the back,“ she said of a scrappy homeward nine of one-under 35. ”I started to lose a lot of the focus and a lot of my concentration and I was kind of struggling with my approach shots.
“Thankfully I was able to make a lot of good saves and par saves coming down the stretch. This tournament is only halfway over. I‘m going to try my best to stay focused and stay in the game, because anything can happen.”
Australian Minjee Lee, who like her American namesake turned professional late last year, also fired a 67 to share second place at seven under with France’s Perrine Delacour (68).
Ryu So-yeon of South Korea was a further stroke back after carding a 69 while Norway’s Suzann Pettersen (65) was among a group of four players at five under.
World number one Lydia Ko of New Zealand followed her opening 71 with a 69 to end the day seven shots off the pace.
Last year’s champion, Lizette Salas, and fellow American Cristie Kerr, a three-time former winner of the Kingsmill Championship, were among those who missed the cut.
Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford