Lee, Hataoka share second-round lead at Arkansas

Australia’s Minjee Lee and Japan’s Nasa Hataoka each shot 6-under 65s Saturday to share the lead through two rounds of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Ark.Lee and Hataoka began the day part of a seven-way tie for second and now share a two-stroke lead over American Lexi Thompson. Mexico’s Gaby Lopez, who was in sole possession of first place at 8 under after Friday, tumbled down the leaderboard after a 4-over 75.Hataoka, who is seeking her first LPGA title after finishing tied for second at the Kingsmill Championship last month, carded a bogey-free round, while Lee’s one blip came on her last of hole of the day, the par-4 ninth. Lee had five birdies on the back nine before making the turn.”I started pretty well,” said Lee, who could claim her second victory of the season after winning the LPGA Volvik Championship on her 22nd birthday last month. “I hit it pretty solid and holed a couple long putts, so that really got my round going.”Thompson tied for the low round of the day at 64, sinking five birdies through her first nine holes as part of a bogey-free performance.”Overall, just my swing felt very solid,” Thompson said. “It was just one of those days where I knew I could just aim at pins and fire away.”One stroke behind Thompson tied for fourth are Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn and France’s Celine Boutier after each shot 66 for the second day in a row. Jutanugarn’s round featured an eagle on the par-5 seventh, which she converted with a putt she estimated to be around 30 feet.

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WEEK DAY MORNINGS 6AM to 9AM on 92.1 FM THE TICKET THE NUMBER ONE SPORTS SHOW IN ARKANSAS AND BEYOND———-THE RED ZONE with JB Josh Bertaccini is the Program Director for Fayetteville’s 92.1 The Ticket. He hosts The Red Zone with JB Weekdays from 6 to 9 AM and Razorback Recap, after every University of…