03 Oct 2021 | Professional golf |

Lee races to Korean lead

by PGA of Australia

Minjee Lee KLPGA image
Minjee Lee had another good day in Korea, and leads by a shot through 54 holes. Photo: Getty

Tony Webeck West Australian Minjee Lee will take a one stroke lead into the final round of the Korean LPGA Tour’s Hana Financial Group Championship as she seeks a first win in the country of her heritage.

One back through 36 holes, Lee assumed the outright lead on Saturday courtesy of a four-under par round of 67 at the Ponchu Adonis Golf Country Club and will tee off at 12.50pm ADST on Sunday hoping to close out the 10th professional win of her career.

As was the case in her second round, Lee dropped a shot early on Saturday at the par-four fourth but was quick to bounce back at the very next hole, hitting her approach shot from the fairway bunker to 12 feet and making the putt for birdie.

The 25-year-old, born in Perth of Korean immigrant parents, got up-and-down from beside the par-five sixth green to make it two birdies in succession and rounded out the front nine with three straight pars.

A superb iron shot from 168 yards set up her third birdie of the day at the par-four 11th and then the 25-year-old took advantage of the two closing par fives at 14 and 18 to move one clear of Korean pair Ga Eun Song and Su Ji Kim.

Three players currently share fourth spot at 11 under with New Zealand’s Lydia Ko one of six players tied for seventh at 10 under.

Runner-up at last week’s Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, Lee is currently ranked No.7 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings and is seeking a second victory for 2021 having earned her first major title at the Aumundi Evian Championship in July.

At the LPGA Tour’s ShopRite LPGA Classic in New Jersey Lee’s 2016 Olympic teammate Su Oh has fired eight birdies in a second round of six-under 65 to move inside the top 10 while Deyen Lawson remains the best of the Aussies at the European Tour’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland.

Within sight of his best finish on the European Tour, an eagle at the Old Course’s par-fove fifth was the highlight of his third round of two-under 70 on Saturday to be 8-under and tied for 11th with one round to play at St Andrews.

Blake Windred will start the final round of the Swiss Challenge on the Challenge Tour eight strokes back and in a tie for 15th while Peter Fowler is tied for 10th midway through the second round of the Farmfoods European Senior Masters in Birmingham.

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