Today Lee leads one of the flagship events of the Japan Golf Tour, the Mitsui Sumitomo Visa Taiheiyo Masters, after a closing nine of 31 completed a second round of 65 to give him a two shot lead over New Zealander David Smail, and Japan's Ryo Ishikawa and Michio Matsumura.
Born in Korea, the 35 year old former University of California player was twice a winner of the Canadian Amateur Championship before turning professional in 2000.
Smail who has not won on the Japan Golf Tour in more than seven years rebounded from a mid round double bogey to be well placed heading into the weekend.
Ishikawa, who despite being the superstar of Japanese golf has not won since his victory in this event two years ago, is shaping as a potential threat to the field following his three top ten finishes in his last four starts.
Former winner, Brendan Jones, is at 5 under par and five shots from the lead after an even par second round of 72 while Kurt Barnes is one shot further back.