Minjee Lee is a shot from the lead in California. Image: Getty
Australia’s top-ranked female player Minjee Lee has broken out of a recent lull to surge into contention in the LPGA Tour’s first major of 2017, the ANA Inspiration at Mission Hills in California.
Lee, 20, shot a four-under 68 in her second round to reach six-under overall, just a shot from the lead held by Suzann Pettersen of Norway.
A weather interruption on the first day means part of the field will not complete their second round today.
The Perth superstar, ranked 19th in the world, had missed her last two cuts on tour. But she went bogey-free today and rolled in four birdie putts to move into contention for her first major championship win.
Her previous best finish in a major is ninth at the Women’s British Open in 2015.
Queenslander Sarah Jane Smith is just outside the top 20 in California at two-under, having a good week. Veteran Karrie Webb had a 75 and at nine-over, will miss the cut.
On the US PGA Tour, Aaron Baddeley is the best of the Australians in the Houston Open, tied-fifth at eight-under after a 68 today. But even he is eight from the lead held by Sung Kang of South Korea at 16-under, with a place in the Masters on the line.
Disappointingly, Adam Scott missed the cut after a second-round 77, not the preparation for Augusta National that he would have wanted.
Scott had six bogeys and a double bogey in his round, having put the Texas tournament into his schedule for the first time in seven years as a tune-up for the Masters.
Meanwhile former world No. 1 Tiger Woods has pulled out of the tournament as he continues his rehabilitation from a back injury.
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