Minjee Lee fired a bogey-free 8-under 64 on Saturday and will take a three-shot lead into Sunday’s finale of the TOTO Japan Classic.
The 22-year-old Aussie opened with a gain on the par-5 first and took advantage of the day’s prime scoring conditions by carding seven additional birdies, highlighted by three straight on hole Nos. 13, 14 and 15 en route to 13-under 131 two-round score.
“I’m probably hitting more fairways and giving myself more opportunities to hit it closer to the pin,” said Lee, who is second on Tour to Jutanugarn in the Race to the CME Globe, total earnings, birdies, top-10 finishes and rounds in the 60s.
“I think my putting has definitely improved this year. Overall it just comes down to everything being a little bit better.”
Sakura Koiwai, who birdied her final two holes, posted a 66 to secure solo second-place at 10-under 134.
Jiyai Shin (69) and Nasa Hataoka (66) were one further back at 9-under 135.
2018 TOTO Japan Classic
Second Round: The Top 5
Pos-Player-To Par (Today)
1. Minjee Lee -13 (-8)
2. Sakura Koiwai -10 (-6)
3. Nasa Hataoka -9 (-3)
3. Jiyai Shin -9 (-3)
5. Six Players -8