WASHINGTON: American teen Lucy Li fired a bogey-free seven-under par 64 to seize a two-stroke lead after Friday's (Saturday in Manila) second round of the LPGA Dana Open.
Li, a 19-year-old prodigy of Chinese heritage who played in the US Women's Open at age 11, stood on 10-under 132 after 36 holes at Highland Meadows Golf Club in Sylvania, Ohio.
"Hitting it really good," Li said. "Just got a few more putts to drop today."
Chinese 19-year-old Yin Ruoning and Spain's Carlota Ciganda, who shared the 18-hole lead with South Korea's Choi Hye-jin, each fired 69s to share second on 134.
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Defending champion Nasa Hataoka of Japan fired a 66 to stand on 135 with Choi, Taiwan's Hsu Wei-ling, Germany's Caroline Masson and American Lexi Thompson.
After two victories this year on the US women's developmental tour, Li has already secured a 2023 LPGA berth.
"Just having that good experience will definitely help me going into the weekend," Li said.
Li shared ninth last week in Canada, her best LPGA finish, to qualify for this week's event as she chases her first LPGA title.
"I've never led an LPGA event before, so we'll see," Li said. "It's kind of a new experience."
Li, who started on the 10th hole, birdied the 12th and reeled off three birdies in a row starting at the 14th before adding another at the par-5 18th. She also birdied the par-4 third and par-3 sixth holes.
"I was just hitting it really good, especially on [my] front nine and made a lot of good putts," Li said. "On the back nine I made a lot of good saves for par so that really kept the momentum going."
Li won the inaugural girls 10-11 age group title at the 2014 Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at Augusta National, becoming one of the first female champions of any sort at the home of the Masters.