Lee hangs onto lead in Women’s British Open

Mirim Lee of South Korea was nine strokes worse in the second round, but still held the lead in the Ricoh Women’s British Open.

Lee, who opened with a record 62, posted a 1-under-par 71 and was one shot ahead of Shanshan Feng of China and Moriya Jutanugarn of Thailand at Woburn Golf and Country Club in Milton Keynes, England.

“Yeah, today the tee shot was a little bit difficult,” said Lee, who also needed 33 putts. “I had issues with my tee shot. I think I putted OK. I had a couple of three-putts but I think with some practice I can overcome my mistakes today.

“When I shot 8-under at the U.S. Women’s Open (to share the first-round lead en route to a tie for fourth earlier this month), I still felt like I left some shots out there. I tried, my aim was to try to be consistent for all four rounds. I think with more practice, I was able to do that.”

Feng, who won the 2012 Wegmans LPGA Championship for her only major title, birdied four of the first seven holes in a 68, while Jutanugarn, a three-time winner this season, played the last 15 holes in a bogey-free 3-under to finish at 69.

Catriona Matthew of Scotland, who won the 2009 Women’s British Open, carded a bogey-free 65 that was low score of the day and was two shots back in a tie for fourth with Ha Na Jang of South Korea, who was tied for the lead before making two late bogeys in a 67.

“That’s probably one of the best rounds I’ve played,” the 46-year-old Matthew said. “I think I hit 18 greens today. Just one awful shot on 16, but then followed it probably with my best shot of the day, a 4-iron onto the green.

“Gave myself a lot of chances and holed my fair share of them today.”

Mo Martin of Pasadena and UCLA recorded her second 68 and was two strokes behind in solo sixth, followed another shot back by Stacy Lewis, who had three birdies on the back nine in a 70.

Karrie Webb of Australia and Sei Young Kim of South Korea both had 69s for the second straight day and were five back in a tie for eighth, while Lexi Thompson totaled 67 and was another shot down in a tie for 10th that included home course favorite Charley Hull (70) of England, Ashleigh Simon (68) of South Africa, So Yeon Ryu (70) of South Korea and Azahara Munoz (71) of Spain.

Amateur Bronte Law of England and UCLA was tied for 15th after a second 70, while Candie Kung of Fountain Valley and USC shot 69 and was in a tie for 25th that included Alison Lee of Valencia and UCLA, who came in at 70.

Top-ranked Lydia Ko of New Zealand bounced back from an opening 74 with a 70 and made the cut by two shots in a tie for 56th.

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