Date: April 23, 2016
Author: Martin Blake

Lee back in contention

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Australia's Minjee Lee has roared into contention for a second consecutive week on the LPGA Tour, carding a 65 at the Swinging Skirts Classic just a few days after her second win on tour.

Lee, 19, shot seven-under par in wet conditions with seven birdies and no bogeys to be within striking distance of leader Haru Nomura of Japan through two rounds.

Her compatriot Su Oh, meanwhile, is also having a red-hot week in San Francisco as well, carding a 71 today to be in the top 10. Melburnian Oh, who is a former national teammate of Lee's, came through pre-qualifying on Monday to get into the field.

Lee is at six-under overall, three from Nomura's lead.

"I just took advantage of the opportunities I had,'' said Lee. "I had a couple of wedges into some of the par-fours on the back nine, which was my front nine, I had three birdie chances that were, I don't know, like five, six feet because I hit wedges in, and I just stayed patient. If I made a mistake, I tried to make up-and-downs, and I did today. Just chipped and putted well today.''

Lee, the former world No. 1 amateur, has risen to No. 12 in the world on the back of her win in Hawaii last weekend. Three bogeys in the final four holes on Thursday are all that has cost her a better position this week.

She is at six-under par, three from Women's Australian Open champion Nomura's lead.

"I think it's, like you said, more momentum,'' Lee said. "Every golfer has that sort of confidence that they can play out here because obviously we're playing with the best in the world. Yes, I mean, it's just momentum, it's just timing, I think. I came off a really great win last week, so I should have a lot of confidence and momentum coming into this week, too.''

On the US PGA Tour, veteran Stuart Appleby is having one of his best weeks for some time, tied-second in the Valero Texas Open through two rounds after 67-70. Appleby has only recently resumed from back surgery.

On the European Tour, two Australians, Nathan Holman and Scott Hend, are in contention through almost two rounds of a rain-interrupted Shenzhen Open in China.