Aditi Ashok in T19 as Minjee Lee and Nasa Hataoka take lead

Nasa Hataoka shot 65 with a hole in one to join Minjee Lee in the lead. Aditi Ashok shot three birdies in a second round 70

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Aditi Ashok - AIG Women's Open - Getty Images

26 September 2021: Aditi Ashok continued her quest for a strong finish to the season, posting two-under 70 in the second round of the Arkansas Championship. Following through on a brilliant 65 in the opening round, Aditi shot three birdies, but her card was dented by a double bogey on the par-3 eleventh hole.

Japan’s Nasa Hataoka made a hole-in-one for the second straight day and shot a 6-under 65 Saturday to move into a tie with Australia’s Minjee Lee after two rounds.

The 22-year-old Hataoka, whose first of four LPGA Tour victories came at this event in 2018, used a 5-iron to ace the 180-yard, par-3 sixth hole at Pinnacle Country Club.

Lee, who won the Evian Championship in July, fired an 8-under 63 in the second round and moved into a tie with Hataoka at 12 under.

Hataoka aced the 135-yard 11th hole in Friday’s first round. She is the fifth player in LPGA Tour history to record multiple aces in the same event. The two aces will result in donations of $20,000 each to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

“It’s obviously something that’s not able to be done easily, so I really, really feel proud of it,” said Hataoka, who made five birdies with one bogey.

Hataoka stared in disbelief as her second ace disappeared into the cup.

“When I hit the ball, it felt really good,” she said. “It went the way it was supposed to go. Though I never suspect it would be a hole-in-one; it was amazing. I’m happy that I got the hole-in-ones, but I really, really happy to be able to help the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.”

Lee birdied seven of the first 10 holes in racing up the leaderboard.

“The golf course is very scorable,” Lee said. “It’s maybe a little softer than in other years we’ve played it. I was seeing really good lines and stroking it nice and it was good to see it go in.”

First round co-leader Eun-Hee Ji is alone in third place at 11 under after a second round 68. Jeongeun Lee6 matched the tournament’s low round with a 63, moving into a tie for fourth with Ariya Jutanugarn at 10 under.

Jennifer Kupcho (66), Pajaree Anannarukarn (68) and Sarah Burnham (69) were tied for sixth, three strokes back. Ten other players are four shots back at 8 under.

Lee6 had eight birdies and no bogeys. It is her first time playing in Arkansas, and she said she liked both the course and the local food.

“I like this course because the condition is good and a lot of good foods,” Lee6 said.