South Africa's Ashleigh Buhai boosts lead to three at Women's British

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

South Africa's Ashleigh Buhai boosts lead to three at Women's British

LPGA Tour

South Africa's Ashleigh Buhai boosts lead to three at Women's British

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WOBURN, England – Ashleigh Buhai padded her lead to three at the AIG Women’s British Open. After a career-tying opening round on the Marquess Course at Woburn Golf Club, Buhai followed it with a 67 to find herself in rare position, leading a major heading into the weekend for the first time.

South Africa’s Buhai carded four birdies on the back nine to jump to 12-under 132. Japan’s Hinako Shibuno, playing in her first LPGA major, sits alone in second while American Lizettte Salas is third at 8 under.

“I’m feeling good,” said Buhai, who is ranked 123rd in the world.“I’m trying not to keep thinking it’s a major; it’s just another tournament. I’m really enjoying the way the golf course is playing. I think it helps that the conditions have just been so good and we haven’t had to deal with too many elements. So I’ve just been very comfortable.”

Buhai (formerly Simon) competed on the Ladies European Tour from 2010 to 2013 and recorded three victories. Her best finish on the LPGA was a second place at the 2017 Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic.

Three English players are in the top 10, with Charley Hull and Bronte Law five shots back in a share of fourth and Georgia Hall six back.

Buhai’s best major finish came at the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open, where she tied for 27th. A member of the LPGA since 2008, Buhai, looks to become the second South African to win a major, joining Sally Little, who won the 1980 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and the 1988 du Maurier Classic.

Salas began day with four consecutive birdies. She played in the final group at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Hazeltine, calling that week her best play of the yar.

“Just tried to get myself as many birdie opportunities as possible and I struck it well,” said Salas of her second-round 67, “and I was able to minimize my mistakes and recover when I did miss. Awesome day.”

World No. 1 Jin Young Ko looks to become the seventh player – male or female – to win three majors in the same year. She’s six back of Buhai and in a share of ninth. Ko won last week’s Evian Championship and the ANA Inspiration in April.

Ariya Jutanugarn won the Women’s British Open when it was last held at Woburn three years ago. She’s also six back after carding a 70.

Players who missed the cut include Inbee Park, Lydia Ko, Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Stacy Lewis, Jennifer Kupcho, Maria Fassi and Laura Davies.

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