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Golf: Japan's Higa stays one shot off lead at Women's British Open

Japan's Mamiko Higa is seen on day two of the Women's British Open golf tournament in Lytham, England, on Aug. 3, 2018. (Peter Byrne/PA via AP)

LYTHAM ST ANNES, England (Kyodo) -- Japan's Mamiko Higa ran into trouble down the stretch Friday but remained one shot off the pace after carding a 3-under-par 69 in the second round of the Women's British Open, the fourth major of the season.

    Higa carded an eagle, four birdies, a bogey and a double bogey and finished the day tied for second with England's Georgia Hall and Australian Minjee Lee at 9-under 135.

    Thailand's Pornanong Phatlum carded a second straight 67 to lead at 10-under after 36 holes at a rainy Royal Lytham.

    Teeing off in second place, the 24-year-old Higa led by two shots but lost her ball at the 17th hole after driving her second shot into a bush, winding up with a double bogey 6.

    "I was relaxed and played with a good rhythm. I messed up on the 17th and lost my ball but that didn't rattle me," said Higa, who is making her first appearance in four years at tournament.

    Higa tied for seventh on her Women's British Open debut in 2013 but entered a slump afterwards. She posted her first win in four seasons on the Japanese LPGA tour last year, and is currently fourth in the money rankings.

    Eri Okayama was the only other Japanese player to make the cut on Friday, with an even-par 72 squeezing her into the final two rounds by one shot at 1-over 145 in a tie for 55th.

    Ayako Uehara, Misuzu Narita, Nasa Hataoka and Sakura Yokomine all failed to advance.

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