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Uribe leads halfway through Aussie Women's Open

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CANBERRA, Australia (AP) - Mariajo Uribe shot a 6-under 67 on Friday to overtake South Korea's Jiyai Shin and overnight leader Lydia Ko, claiming a one-stroke lead after the second round of the LPGA Tour's season-opening Women's Australian Open.

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The Colombian opened with a birdie after teeing off on the par-4 10th and made four more at Royal Canberra, including at the sixth and seventh as she moved to 15-under 131.

Two-time British Open-winner Shin fired eight birdies against two bogeys for a 67, sharing second with 15-year-old amateur Ko, who followed an opening 63 with a 69.

Ko had five birdies but squandered a chance to retain a share of the lead with a bogey on the par-4 14th.

``I just thought 6-iron would be the club and I hit it well, but it just took a big bounce and it went straight over the green,'' she said.

Uribe, who turned pro in 2009, is chasing her first LPGA title and played a blemish-free round to follow her 64 Thursday.

She had a chance to extend her lead, but lipped out with a birdie putt on her second-to-last hole, then narrowly missed another on her final hole - the par-4 9th - after just avoiding a fairway bunker with her tee shot.

``I saw it was a good bounce, and that's the way it's been this week,'' Uribe said of her drive on No. 9. ``I believe in things that are meant to be and I feel it's meant to be for me to play good this week. Hopefully it stays like that for the weekend.''

Ko was grouped with top-ranked Yani Tseng (71), who finished eight strokes off the lead, and Michelle Wie, who missed the cut by two strokes after rounds of 74 and 73.

South Korean-born, New Zealand-based Ko won the New Zealand Women's Open last Sunday for her third victory in a professional tournament. Last year, she won the New South Wales Open in Australia to become the youngest player to win a pro tour event and the Canadian Open to become the youngest LPGA Tour winner. She also won the U.S. Women's Amateur.

``Four under is a pretty good score out there,'' Ko said. ``It's not an easy golf course. I'm pretty sure it is a pretty good score for me ... I putted well out there and played well.''

Shin took an early lead after the morning session, despite conceding bogeys on the par-4 9th and 5th holes.

``I made a couple of bogeys today but I made more birdies,'' she said. ``I hit it OK but (it was) just the wrong read, so I still have a good feeling at the moment and with my good tempo, I'll just keep doing that for the next couple of days, too,'' Shin said.

Australia's Kristie Smith was fourth, five strokes off the lead after a 68, while Beatriz Recari was a shot further back after a 69.

AP NEWS
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The Associated Press
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