European Tour

Australia's Lee takes Italian Open lead, Van Tonder lurks

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Australian golfer Min Woo Lee
Australian golfer Min Woo Lee
Luke Walker/Getty Images

Australia's Min Woo Lee heads into the weekend at the Italian Open with a two shot lead after following up his opening round of 64 with a 68 on Friday in Rome.

The 23-year-old, who claimed his second European Tour title in Scotland earlier this season, began the day in a three-way tie at the top of the leaderboard.

Lee carded four birdies and a single bogey on Friday to get to ten under par and establish his first 36 hole lead on the European Tour.

"Very solid again. Didn't make too many mistakes, made a couple of bad swings but the ball, it was going really far, and I didn't really change the way I played, I just hit everything so long," said Lee.

"Very solid, hit a couple nice putts coming down the stretch and happy to be in the lead with two rounds to go... I'm looking forward to the challenge."

Lee has a quality chasing pack sitting just two strokes behind him, with last month's Czech Masters champion Johannes Veerman, Ryder Cup star Tommy Fleetwood, two-time European Tour winner Mikko Korhonen and Spain's Adri Arnaus in a tie for second on eight under.

Major champion Henrik Stenson and home favourite Edoardo Molinari were then among the large group another shot further back. 

Due to the threat of thunderstorms in the Italian capital on Saturday afternoon, round three of the Italian Open will be a two-tee start U-draw, beginning at 07:30 local time.

Leading second-round scores from the European Tour's Italian Open at Marco Simone Golf Club in Rome on Friday (par 71/GBR & IRL unless stated):

132 - Min Woo Lee (AUS)

134 - Johannes Veerman (USA), Tommy Fleetwood, Adri Arnaus (ESP), Mikko Korhonen (FIN)

135 - Daniel van Tonder (RSA), Edoardo Molinari (ITA), Henrik Stenson (SWE), Nicolai Hojgaard (DEN), Alex Levy (FRA)

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