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Chien leads as Minjee Lee slips off pace at Queen City


A nerveless eight-under-par 64 has rocketed Taiwan's Peiyun Chien to the top of the leaderboard at the Queen City Championship in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Chien holed out for eagle on the sixth hole and played bogey-free on Friday to build a four-shot lead at 14 under after two rounds as she chases her first LPGA Tour victory.

Australia's Minjee Lee (69) finds herself six shots back in a group of players tied for seventh at eight under.

Lee recovered well after two bogeys in her first four holes, scoring six birdies - as well as another bogey on the par-3 14th - to complete her second round three under.

Gabriela Ruffels (69) was two shots further back at six under overall, while fellow Australians Sarah Kemp (71) and Stephanie Kyriacou (72) are tied at 65th at one under after 36 holes. 

Chien has won three times on what is now the Epson Tour and twice on the Taiwan LPGA.

"I really want to play well in America and go back to Asia, play Asian Games for my country" said Chien, 32, who reached the halfway mark at 130 at Kenwood Country Club.

Ruoning Yin of China, who captured her first major this summer at the KPMG Women's PGA Championship, also played bogey-free for a 66 that left her four shots behind.

She shares second place on the leaderboard with Morgane Metraux of Switzerland (66) and 18-hole leader Ruixin Liu of China (69).

Yin has a mathematical chance of reaching No.1 in the women's world rankings, which would allow her to join Shanshan Feng as the only players from China to earn that honour.

Chien attributed her great round to her putting. She said she prefers to swap out putters every week and is proud she has kept this one in play for at least a month.

It's a good weapon to have on the Kendale course, which has firm and fast greens from dry weather.

Former US Women's Open champion Yuka Saso (66) and Charley Hull of England (68) were five shots behind.

Former world No.4 Lexi Thompson had reason to celebrate - she gets to play golf for two more days.

Thompson made eight birdies to offset some mistakes in her round of 68, allowing her to make the cut for the first time since the Women's PGA Championship, and it was her lowest score of the year in individual stroke play.

This is Thompson's final event before the Solheim Cup in Spain from September 22-24.

Linn Grant of Sweden shot 71 and missed the cut ahead of her Solheim Cup debut.