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Min Woo Lee holds three-shot lead in bid for Aussie double

Min Woo Lee holds three-shot lead in bid for Aussie double

Min Woo Lee is on track for back-to-back DP World Tour titles on home soil as he continued his imperious form to hold a three-shot halfway lead at the ISPS HANDA Australian Open.

Lee carded a brilliant seven-under-par 64 in Friday's second round as he played his final eight holes in six under to thrill the big galleries at The Australian Golf Club.

Having won the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship last week, the 25-year-old is looking to complete an impressive double of Australia’s two flagship tournaments.

He finished his day in style with a sensational towering draw over water from pine straw for a tap-in eagle to reach 12 under and lead the way from Scotland’s Connor Syme and American Patrick Rodgers.

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Min Woo Lee showed his class with an excellent approach at the 18th

Victory over the weekend would be his third worldwide in less than two months and Lee is relishing being a star draw as he looks to cap a stellar year.

“It’s always nice to make an eagle whenever, but on the last hole, it’s even nicer,” Lee said.

“I didn’t think that we could beat last week’s crowds, but we’ve very nearly done it before the weekend, so it’s unreal.

“It’s really fun. Most of my golf has been really good because of the crowd and the support, and I’m really happy for that.”

Min Woo Lee (2)
Lee celebrates after holing out from a bunker at the fourth

Beginning the second round four shots adrift of overnight leader and compatriot Cam Davis, Lee suffered an early setback with a bogey at the first.

But from there he was flawless, registering a hole-out birdie from a greenside bunker at the fourth and then almost holing out for an eagle at the eighth.

At a career-high 38th on the Official World Golf Ranking, confidence is high for Lee and he was fully in the groove over the back nine as he made three birdies in a four hole stretch from the 11th to move into a share of the lead with morning starter Syme.

He took the outright lead with a birdie at the par three 16th, showing composure as he reset before his putt after hearing the television commentary come through on the big screens.

After pulling his tee shot at the 18th, Lee then left the best to last with a committed nine iron from 191 yards which almost spun in for an albatross.

“I don’t think I missed a shot on the back nine, it was very solid stuff, he added. “That was a nice finish.”

Syme had earlier set the clubhouse target with a two under 70 at The Lakes Golf Club, which is co-hosting over the first two rounds, to reach nine under and give himself hope of a maiden DP World Tour win.

The 28-year-old got off to a fast start, birdieing four of his first five holes as he continued his fine form over the second half of the year on the DP World Tour.

“It’s just a great opportunity,” he said. “My last event of the year and hopefully I can go out on a high.”

Syme was later joined by Rodgers in a share of second place after the 31-year-old American recovered from a double bogey at the second to record four birdies in a one under 70.

Ryo Hisatsune, who won the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year Award earlier this week, sits five adrift of Lee on seven under in a big group that includes countryman Rikuya Hoshino, Australia’s Jason Scrivener, Scotland’s Grant Forrest along with English duo Alex Fitzpatrick and David Horsey.

In the women’s competition, South Korea’s Jiyai Shin holds a two-shot lead over South Africa’s defending champion Ashleigh Buhai following a four under 68 at The Australian.

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