Date: November 03, 2018
Author: Martin Blake

Minjee Lee in control in Japan


Australia’s superstar Minjee Lee has a strong grip on the LPGA Tour’s Toto Japan Classic after a dazzling second-round 64 today.

Lee, 22, from Perth, leads the three-round tournament by three shots and has a strong chance of winning her fifth LPGA Tour tournament, and her second this season, if she closes well tomorrow.

The 2016 Olympian and world No. 5 had eight birdies and no bogeys in her near-flawless round, taking just 26 putts.

“I don't know, it seems like this year I've been holing more putts and I think it probably comes with confidence on the greens,’’ Lee said. “Yes, I think a little bit by little bit I am improving.’’

Lee is at 13-under par, three ahead of Japan’s Sakura Koiwai. Korea’s Jiyai Shin and Japan’s Nasa Hataoka are a shot further back with a round to play.

The Royal Fremantle member won the Volvik Championship in May and has already earned more than $US1.5 million in prizemoney, having 10 top-five finishes.

If she wins tomorrow she will creep a little closer to Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn in the season-long points competition, the Race to CME Globe.

Currently she is second behind Jutanugarn, who has won three tournaments. But the Australian is close enough to take over (and win the $US 1 million bonus on offer) if she plays well in the tour championship in Florida later this month.