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Icher two shots ahead of Han

KARINE Icher of France shot a six-under 66 to gain a two-shot lead over Han Hee-won of South Korea after two rounds of the Corning Classic in Corning, New York, on Friday.

Icher, the first-round co-leader at eight-under with Park Hee-young of South Korea, was at 14-under 130. That broke the 36-hole record for the tournament by one shot and equaled the best back-to-back rounds in Corning history.

Lee Seon-hwa (67), Kang Soo-yun (69) and Choi Na-yeon (68) of South Korea were tied for third at 10-under with Mikaela Parmlid (67) of Sweden (67), German Sandra Gal (69) and Australia's Sarah Kemp (68).

Icher took advantage of near-perfect conditions to eclipse the 36-hole record of 131 held by Michelle Estill (2004) and Beth Bader (2007) and matched the lowest consecutive rounds set by Juli Inkster on the final two rounds of her 2003 Corning triumph.

"If the other players can make birdies, I can do it, too," said Icher, whose best career finish was a second in 2005 at the Corona Morelia Championship. "I know you learn more from your mistakes. I did a lot in the past. I was short to win some tournaments in '05 and '06. I hope right now it's going to help me go forward."

This is the final Corning Classic, and Lee is accustomed to playing in this atmosphere. She won the final Shoprite Classic in 2006, the final HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship in 2007, and the final Ginn Tribute last year. "I didn't think about that," Lee said. "If I win, it's another."


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