Georgia Hall shoots 9-under 63 to take LPGA Tour lead

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Georgia Hall, of England, tees off of the second tee during the CP Women's Open golf tournament in Regina, Saskatchewan, Friday, Aug. 24, 2018. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press via AP)
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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Georgia Hall shot a 9-under 63 on Friday to take a three-stroke lead in the Cambia Portland Classic and break the tournament 36-hole record.

The Women's British Open winner four weeks ago for her first LPGA Tour title, the 22-year-old Englishwoman made five straight birdies in the middle of the back nine. She missed a chance to match the course record of 62 when her long birdie try went to the right on the par-4 18th.

''The putts were really good,'' Hall said. ''I holed some really long ones, as well, and my long game was pretty good today, and I didn't really miss a green that much. I'm extremely happy. I kind of stayed in there and kept trying to get more birdies, so I was happy with that.''

Hall had a 15-under 129 total. She had four birdies on the front nine, three in a row on Nos. 5-7, and began the birdie streak on the par-5 12th at tree-lined Columbia Edgewater.

''I love this golf course,'' Hall said. ''It's very nice to play. It's in great condition, so I look forward to the weekend and seeing what I can do.''

Minjee Lee was second, following her opening 64 with a 68. The 22-year-old Australian won the Volvik Championship in May in Michigan for her fourth LPGA Tour title.

''I just scrambled when I had to and just took advantage of the shots that I hit close,'' Lee said. ''It was all-around OK today.''

Marina Alex, the first-round leader after tying the course record with a 62, had a late bogey in a 71 to fall into a tie with Megan Khang at 11 under.

''Had some great looks that just didn't go in,'' Alex said. I just really didn't make anything. They weren't bad strokes or putts, they just didn't go in. So just carry some good juju into tomorrow.''

Khang eagled the par-5 fifth in a 65.

''I just kind of hit some great shots, had some good numbers, and just kind of stayed patient out there,'' Khang said. Definitely gave myself a lot of opportunities, and luckily a few of them dropped, and just kind of kept that mentality for the rest of the day.''

Brooke Henderson followed her opening 64 with a 71 to drop into a tie for fifth at 9 under. The 20-year-old Canadian star, the 2015 and 2016 winner at Columbia Edgewater, is coming off a victory Sunday in the CP Women's Open on home soil in Saskatchewan.

''Got off to a shaky start, two bogeys right back-to-back on the back nine, which was my front nine, and I just kind of fought the rest of the day to kind of get it under par,'' Henderson said. ''So, I'm happy with 1 under. I would have obviously liked to have been better and get up the leaderboard a little bit more, but I just felt like I kind of battled my way through, and I feel like I did a good job of that.''

Australia's Su Oh also was 9 under after a 69.

Lexi Thompson was 3 under after a 73. She missed the cut last week in Canada after tying for 12th in Indianapolis following a three-week break for emotional and mental fatigue.

Karen Stupples shot 71-79 to miss the cut in her first tour start in more than two years. The 45-year-old English player is a commentator for Golf Channel.

''I accomplished what I set out to at the start of the week, which was to prove to myself that I still had potential to play, even though I don't want to,'' Stupples said.