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Golf: Japanese rookie Shibuno 3 shots off pace at Women's British Open

Hinako Shibuno of Japan tees off on the second hole during the second round of the Women's British Open at Woburn Golf Club in Milton Keynes, England, on Aug. 2, 2019. (Kyodo)

MILTON KEYNES, England (Kyodo) -- Japanese rookie Hinako Shibuno shot a 3-under-par 69 in the second round of the Women's British Open on Friday to land three shots off the pace and take sole control of second position at the final major of the year.

Shibuno carded four birdies against a bogey at Woburn Golf Club to climb to 9-under and stay within reach of South Africa's Ashleigh Buhai, who followed her opening-day 65 with a bogey-free 67.

"For my first major and first overseas (event), this rank is just too good," Shibuno said flashing her trademark smile.

The 20-year-old LPGA rookie, who claimed her first two wins, including a major, on the LPGA of Japan Tour this year, is attempting to become the second Japanese golfer and first since 1977 to win a major on either the PGA or LPGA tours.

"If you're in this position it's inevitable (to worry about winning the championship), but I want to stay aggressive," Shibuno said. "I didn't make birdie putts on some of the holes I wanted to, but it was good to keep the bogeys under control."

"I think I'll be nervous for the next two days. It will become a battle with myself to see how much of a score I can make under those circumstances."

American Lizette Salas was a shot behind Shibuno at 8-under, while two-time major winner Park Sung Hyun of South Korea was among a group of five tied for fourth at 7-under.

Among other Japanese, 18-year-old amateur Yuka Yasuda shot a 70 and sits at 1-under in 36th with Sakura Yokomine, who carded a 73. Momoko Ueda, Ayako Uehara and Minami Katsu head into Saturday's third round at even par in 48th.

Ai Suzuki, Mamiko Higa and Nasa Hataoka all missed the cut.

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