Ruoning Yin of China, Minjee Lee of Australia and Amy Yang of South Korea trail by one stroke at the halfway stage of the CME Group Tour Championship at Tiburon Golf Club; Watch the third round of the LPGA Tour finale live on Sky Sports Golf on Saturday from 7pm
Last Updated: 17/11/23 11:51pm
Highlights from the second round of the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples.
Alison Lee birdied four of her final five holes to card an eight-under 64 on Friday and tie Japan’s Nasa Hataoka for the 36-hole lead at the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, Florida
Lee and Hataoka are both 14 under, with Ruoning Yin of China, Minjee Lee of Australia and Amy Yang of South Korea one shot off the pace at Tiburon Golf Club.
Alison Lee has never broken through on the LPGA Tour, but she placed second at the BMW Ladies Championship in South Korea last month, then won the Aramco Team Series event in Riyadh on the Ladies European Tour and tied for second last week at The Annika.
A victory for the 28-year-old in the LPGA Tour season finale for the $2m first prize would be one memorable breakthrough.
“Over the last few weeks, putting myself in contention, playing four rounds of really good golf and almost winning a few times, it’s definitely ignited a fire in me,” Lee said. “Definitely given me a lot more motivation to work hard, and it’s shown me that I do still have what it takes to win out here.”
She added: “Still a lot of golf left. Hopefully, I can keep my head down and keep grinding through to the weekend.”
Lee collected five birdies and her only bogey of the day over her first seven holes. After six straight par saves, she then began her closing run of birdies at the par-five 14th.
Hataoka also had a share of the lead after the first round, tying with Yin after they both shot nine-under 63s. She carded a 67 on Friday, while Yin followed up with a 68.
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“Today was a different wind direction, so it was a little bit tougher for me,” said Hataoka, who made two of her seven birdies on the final two holes of her round.
Minjee Lee posted a 67 to stay one shot back of the leaders, while Yang fired a bogey-free 63 with six birdies on the back nine to catapult into contention.
Tied for sixth at 11 under are Thailand’s Atthaya Thitikul and China’s Xiyu Lin, each of whom posted a second-round 66.
Lilia Vu shot a 66 Friday to move to eight under, part of a star-studded tie with Nelly Korda (68), Gaby Lopez of Mexico (65), Canada’s Brooke Henderson (67), South Korea’s Hyo Joo Kim (67), and Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist (71).
Vu, who won last week at The Annika and captured two major championships this year, is battling France’s Celine Boutier for Rolex Player of the Year honours. Boutier (70 Friday) is nine back at five under.
English pair Charley Hull and Georgia Hall are both seven under heading into the weekend.
Watch the second round of the LPGA’s CME Group Tour Championship live on Sky Sports Golf via the red button from 7pm and on the main channel from 8pm. Also stream with NOW.