Eun-Hee Ji the new leader at LPGA event in Hawaii

LPGA Tour

South Korea’s Eun-Hee Ji added a second-round 65 to her opening 64 to take a two-shot lead at the Lotte Championship heading into the weekend.

Ji was just one under for her round through her first nine holes after bogeying the par-4 18th, but she rebounded immediately with a superb eagle at the first and then added five more birdies on the way home to earn a two-shot lead over Nelly Korda ahead of Friday’s third round at Ko Olina Golf Club in Oahu, Hawaii’s third-largest island.

Impressively, her 15-under 129 total broke the tournament 36-hole record by five strokes.

“I think it was lucky (today),” Ji said. “I had to chip it in three times. Makes a lot of difference for me.”

She played her final nine in the afternoon at Ko Olina in 6-under 30, following the eagle with birdies on four of the next seven holes.

“I hit it well and made a lot of putts from there. That makes it a lot different.”

Ji is already a winner on the LPGA this year after captured her fifth title at the season-opening Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions in January.

Second-placed Korda started the day in the lead and managed to hold onto second following a 68 in breezy morning conditions.

“It was completely different to yesterday,” Korda said. “I actually experienced Hawaii weather today. It was tough. I didn’t hit every shot perfect. I had a couple bogeys. But I ended up playing pretty solid today.”

Korda is also a winner this year already, having won the Women’s Australian Open in February for her second LPGA title.

Lying in third place a further two shots back are Australian Minjee Lee and Canada’s Brooke Henderson, who had rounds of 66 and 68 respectively, who have known each other since playing junior golf together.

“It’s pretty cool to have us both make it this far on tour,” Henderson said. “Growing up playing junior events together I think this was both of our dreams, so it’s pretty cool to come out here and have it be a reality every single day.”

Azahara Munoz (66) and Moriya Jutanugarn (67) follow in a tie for fifth on 10 under.

Michelle Wie missed the cut after a second straight 77 saw her finish second-to-last in the field. The 2014 winner in her home event cited pain in her troublesome right hand following off-season surgery.

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