Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (SportsNetwork.com) - Ilhee Lee shot 6-under-par 65 on Friday to maintain her 1-stroke lead at the halfway point of the LPGA Malaysia.
Lee, who earned her first career victory at the weather-shortened Pure Silk- Bahamas LPGA Classic in May, sits at 13-under 129 through 36 holes on the Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club's East Course.
"I hit it good today and I putted good," Lee said in a televised interview. "Everything was OK today."
Lexi Thompson carded the second-lowest round of the day, a 63, and jumped into second place at 12-under 130.
Shanshan Feng, last week's Reignwood LPGA Classic winner, shot 65 and moved into third place at minus-10.
Paula Creamer (67) and I.K. Kim (66) share fourth place at 9-under, one stroke ahead of Amy Yang (62) and Mamiko Higa (66). Yang's 62 marked the low score of the second round.
World No. 2 Suzann Pettersen (68) is tied for eighth with Cristie Kerr (68) and So Yeon Ryu (65) at minus-7.
Defending champion and world No. 1 Inbee Park, a six-time winner this season, shot even-par 71. She is tie for 39th place at 1-under 141.
Lee never relinquished her 1-stroke overnight lead on Friday, carding five birdies during her bogey-free outward nine to increase her advantage to three.
After a par at No. 10, the 24-year-old Lee pushed the margin to four at the 11th when she chipped in for birdie to reach 13-under. Feng was alone in second place at that point, as she reeled off five birdies over her first 11 holes, but Thompson supplanted her with a scintillating run from the 12th.
Thompson was 6-under for the tournament when she entered No. 12. Five holes later, she was 12-under. Over that span, Thompson went birdie/birdie/eagle/birdie/birdie, capping the stretch with a 4-footer at the 16th to pull within one of Lee, who birdied the 13th.
"I had I think 127 yards to the pin, a little into the wind breeze, so I just hit a little controlled wedge," the 18-year-old Thompson said of her eagle at the par-4 14th. "I couldn't really see it so I didn't have much of a reaction but people were yelling ... it was exciting."
Lee stumbled to her first bogey of the tournament at the par-5 16th when she found a greenside bunker with her third shot and failed to get up-and-down, allowing Thompson to move within a stroke, where she remained after both players parred their final two holes.
NOTES: Thompson's lone LPGA Tour win came at the 2011 Navistar LPGA Classic. She has five top-10 finishes this season ... Park is attempting to successfully defend a title for the first time in her career. Of her six wins this season, three came in major championships ... World No. 3 Stacy Lewis is tied for 16th at 5-under ... This is the second of five consecutive events in Asia for the LPGA Tour. There is no cut at this tournament.