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Sarah Jane Smith holds a three-shot lead at the halfway mark of the Victorian Open.
AAP Sarah Jane Smith holds a three-shot lead at the halfway mark of the Victorian Open.

Sarah Jane Smith has followed up her impressive opening round at the Victorian Open to hold a three-shot lead at the halfway mark of the tournament.

Smith, who shot a cracking five-under par opening round and is chasing her first ALPG title, followed it up on Friday with a two-under par 71 to maintain a healthy advantage over the chasing pack.

The best-placed challenged is 17-year-old amateur Minjee Lee, who for the third straight week is challenging for a professional, after a three-under 70 in challenging conditions at the 13th Beach Golf Links.

The only two other players in red numbers, Nikki Campbell (67) and American Hannah Jun (72), are both at one-under-par and share third position.

Defending champion and local favourite Stacey Keating (74) is outright fifth at even par, while Canadian Lorie Kane (74), South Australian Stephanie Na (72), Queensland's Ashley Ona (70) and Victorian Lindsey Wright (76) are at one-over-par and tied for sixth.

A further shot back are the experienced trio of Swede Sophie Gustafson and England's pair of Laura Davies and Trish Johnson.

Between the three of them they have won over 110 titles worldwide.

If the strong gusty winds continue over the week-end, that combined with the challenging Beach Course layout, anyone within 10 is in with a chance.

66 players will contest the final two rounds for their share of the $150,000 purse.