CLIFTON, N.J. — The one solely factor lacking from Minjee Lee‘s resume this yr is a victory and the most effective scorer on the LPGA Tour took an enormous step towards that within the second spherical of the Cognizant Founders Cup.
Lee flirted with the most effective spherical on tour this season earlier than settling for a 9-under 63 and a three-shot lead Friday on the midway level of the occasion on that honors the 13 founding members of the ladies’s tour. The Australian had a 14-under 130 complete at Higher Montclair Nation Membership.
“Hitting it shut actually helps you, identical to I stated earlier than, actually simply frees you up,” stated Lee, who has two top-five finishes in six occasions. “Even with the quick putts, it is identical to a bit extra confidence enhance.”
First-round chief Madelene Sagstrom, Lexi Thompson and Ally Ewing shared second after the spherical performed beneath a cloudy sky with sporadic mild rain lower than 10 miles from New York Metropolis. Sagstrom had a 70, whereas Thompson and Ewing had 66s in ending at 11 beneath.
Lee acquired to 10 beneath with three holes to play however bogeyed the sixteenth and did not tie the tour’s low spherical of 62 by Yuka Saso of Japan within the Honda occasion in Thailand.
Lee, who entered the week with a scoring averaging of 69.167, tied for second within the HSBC Ladies’s World Championship in March and shared third within the Los Angeles Open final month.
“Perhaps this would be the first one and it will kick begin the remainder of the yr,” she stated.
Sagstrom, who had a 63 on Thursday, acquired off to a gradual begin attempting to go low once more.
“Lots of issues can occur,” Sagstrom stated. “Lots of the issues can occur to the golf course, the best way they set it up and all that. So simply giving myself an opportunity is all I can about myself, and my finest as we speak was 2 beneath, so I used to be actually happy.”
The 27-year-old Thompson has gained 11 LPGA titles, together with a significant, however she has not gained on tour for the reason that ShopRite Traditional in New Jersey three years in the past.
She was not joyful being requested concerning the drought.
“The expertise out right here is really superb. I imply, it is robust to win,” she stated. “All I can do is management my feelings and the way a lot arduous work I put in, and I do know the quantity of labor that I put into it, so if it does not occur, does not occur. It isn’t the tip of my life.”
Ewing, who has missed the lower in three of seven occasions, stated she tends to begin the season gradual. She had bogey and 7 birdies, with 4 approaching her first 5 holes.
“It is thrilling to see that my recreation has been trending, and simply total I am simply trying ahead to the weekend and hopefully I can maintain producing the identical outcomes,” stated Ewing, who has gained twice on tour.
Sanna Nuutinen, a 31-year-old Finn taking part in her first season on the LPGA Tour, had a 68 and was alone in fifth at 135.
Carlota Ciganda, Paula Reto and Megan Khang, who was a shot behind Sagstrom after the opening spherical, had been tied at 136.
Nasa Hataoka, who had a gap spherical 65, had a 73 and was in an enormous group at 6-under, a shot forward of two-time defending champion and No. 1 ranked Jin Young Ko of South Korea, who had in one other giant group at 5-under after a second-round 70.
Anna Davis, the 16-year-old who gained the latest Augusta Nationwide Ladies’s Novice, made her second straight lower taking part in on a sponsor’s exemption. She was at 140 after two straight 70s.
Eighty gamers within the area of 144 made the lower at 1-under. Amongst these lacking it had been Marina Alex, the New Jersey native who gained at Palos Verdes final month, Solheim Cup captain Stacy Lewis and Leona Maguire of Eire, who gained this yr on the LPGA Drive On Championship.