Birdie, birdie, birdie, birdie! Danny Lee roars into Rio medal contention

Kiwi golfer Danny Lee has made a massive leap up the Olympic leaderboard, shooting a six-under par 65 in the second round.

Lee's round at at Campo Olimpico de Golfe was the best of the day and saw him move from one-over to five-under.

He is five shots off leader Marcus Fraser of Australia, in a tie for sixth.

Lee's sizzling round ended with four birdies on the final four holes.

"It's the kind of finish you want to have on this course" said Lee afterwards.

"It's really generous the last three, four holes."

The closing sequence includes a 277 metre par four, a 122 metre par three and a downwind par five.

Lee could have been one better as he hit a brilliant second shot on the green at the final hole only for his eagle putt to just slide by.

He's raving about the condition of the brand new Rio de Janeiro golf course, a genuine links on sandy waste terrain near the sea.

"It's magnificent. It's a very, very young golf course and I don't think you could ask for anything more."

Lee will be in the third to last group to start in round three but he now knows he's in with a chance of a medal.

"I did very, very good today and I definitely put myself in that position I think"

Ryan Fox was two-over for the day and is tied for 33rd.

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Danny Lee of New Zealand at Olympic Games.
Danny Lee of New Zealand at Olympic Games. Source: Associated Press

Drysdale and Twigg ease through to Olympic single sculls finals

Two classic single sculls rivalries will play out on the final day of the Olympic regatta, with Kiwis Mahe Drysdale and Emma Twigg at the heart of both.

Drysdale is on target to win a third Olympic medal and Twigg her first after both eased through semi-finals overnight.

Defending champion Drysdale was particularly dominant in winning the first semi-final by three seconds.

However, four-time world champion Ondrej Synek was just as impressive in clinching the second semi.

The Czech sculler was pipped for gold by Drysdale in London four years ago. They are expected to clear away and fight again for top spot on the dais on Saturday.

The women's final is likely to pit Twigg against Australian Kim Brennan when the hammer goes down over the closing stages.

Brennan narrowly won their semi-final duel but both played down its significance, saying it was pointless to expend too much energy ahead of a final which is just 24 hours later.

Twigg, who closed dramatically on Brennan over the last 500m, said the failure of some highly-rated Kiwi crews to qualify for finals this week had played on her mind.

"I went out there to book my spot in the final," she told NZ Newswire.

"We've seen some pretty devastating results in semi-finals so that was the No.1 plan and then I let the race play out."

The Australian remains on high alert that Twigg will unearth the sort of form in the final that carried her to the 2014 world championship title.

"I'm sure she does have a bit in the tank. She had a look and decided not to go for it (in the semi-final) but tomorrow will be a different race."

The pair enjoy a close bond off the water and plan to combine in a double sculls boat at a regatta in Boston in October.

It makes for an unusual relationship given their fierce rivalry.

"It's one of those things when you've got so much respect for each other. All the time and effort we've put into this, it's a bond that we will share for a long time," Brennan said.

Emma Twigg, of New Zealand
Emma Twigg, of New Zealand Source: Associated Press


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