Mirim Lee maintained her lead on the second day of the Ricoh Women's British Open after she followed yesterday's flawless 62 with a one-under par 71.
The South Korean fired three birdies and two bogeys on a damp day at Woburn Golf Club to hold a one-shot advantage over China's Shanshan Feng and twenty-year-old Ariya Jutanugarn from Thailand.
Lee will be hoping to have learnt from the US Women's Open, where she carded an opening 8-under par only to fade over the weekend.
Catriona Matthew played sensational golf to finish a shot further back at nine-under par. The Scot, who won this championship in 2009 only eleven weeks after giving birth, drew big crowds on the way to a seven-under par 65.
The 46-year-old, who is playing in her last event before heading to Rio to represent Britain at the Olympics, hit all 18 greens to lift herself firmly into contention.
''That's one of the best rounds i've played,'' commented next year's Solheim Cup vice captain. ''Gave myself lots of chances and holed my fair share of them today.''
Local favourite Charley Hull is poised just behind the leaders after the 20-year-old Woburn member added a two under par 70 to her opening 69. She sits six shots behind the leaders going into the weekend's play.
Hull began her second round with dropped shots at the 3rd and the 6th but then fired five birdies in-a-row from the 9th before giving one shot back with a bogey on the 16th.
“The five birdies in-a-row really got me going,” she said. “I just said to myself that I needed to hole a couple of putts and that’s what I did. It’s great fun playing in front of my home supporters,” she added. “It’s great for my golf and great for Woburn. I think it’s brilliant.”
Hull's playing partner world number one Lydia Ko improved with a second round 70 but will go into the weekend eleven shots behind Lee and will need something special if she is to lift her third major trophy.
Friday proved a great day for two of GB&I's Curtis Cup stars. Former world number one amateur Leona Maguire fired a round of 70 to sit at three-under, whilst European Champion Bronte Law scored her second consecutive round of 70 to join a big group at T-15.
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