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SHIBATA, Niigata Pref. (Kyodo) South Korea’s Esther Lee extended her overnight lead to two shots despite carding a 1-over par 73 at the midway point of the Japan Women’s Open on Friday.

Lee mixed three birdies with two bogeys on the front nine at Shiun Golf Club in Niigata Prefecture and although the 22-year-old struggled with a pair of bogeys on her inward nine, she still closed out two shots ahead of Maiko Wakabayashi on 3-under 141.

“It’s going to be hard but I want to keep a sense of urgency and stay in the lead,” said Lee, winless in her two-year career on the Japan LPGA tour.

“There will be some mountains ahead (in the weekend’s final two rounds) and I want to conquer them,” she said.

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