02 Apr 2022 | Professional golf |

Lee, Ruffels stay close at Chevron

by PGA of Australia

Minjee Lee Chevron r2 image
Minjee Lee reacts after a birdie during her second round in California. Photo: Getty

By Tony Webeck

Minjee Lee has recovered from a horror stretch to remain in the mix at The Chevron Championship, the first of the LPGA majors for 2022.

Lee (73) and Gabi Ruffels (71) are part of a seven-way tie for ninth after Friday’s second round, four shots off the lead held by Japan’s Hinako Shibuno who shot 66 to take a one-stroke lead into the weekend.

Hannah Green (72, T29) was the only other Australian to make the cut, Victorian Su Oh (74) making three bogeys across her final four holes to fall beneath the cut-line.

Overnight leader alongside American Jennifer Kupcho, the expectation was that Lee would build on her opening round of six-under 66 and position herself for a charge at a second major championship.

A birdie at the par-5 second played into that narrative but there was a sudden plot twist that no one saw coming.

The 25-year-old made four bogeys on the trot from the third hole and added another at the par-3 eighth before launching a fightback that may have rescued her Chevron Championship aspirations.

She followed a birdie at the par-5 ninth with another at the par-5 11th, dropping a shot at 13 before picking up two more birdies at 15 and 18 to play the back nine in two-under and squeak back inside the top 10 with 36 holes left to play.

Top 20 in her two previous starts at Mission Hills Country Club, Ruffels continued her love affair with the venue with a round of four birdies and three bogeys in the morning wave.

After posting four-under 68 on day one, Ruffels traded two bogeys with two birdies in her opening five holes before settling into her round.

The 21-year-old is now well placed to record her best finish in a major championship but Hannah Green will need to deliver something special to make up the seven shots she currently trails by.

The West Australian was making steady progress up the leaderboard before bogeys at the par-5 ninth and 11th holes sent her back in the pack where she will start the third round tied for 29th.

Starting on the back nine, Sarah Kemp (73) made the turn in three-over but two birdies on the front nine weren’t enough to get inside the cut-line, missing by just one shot.

WA amateur Kirsten Rudgeley has qualified to play the final round of the Augusta National Women's Amateur.

Rudgeley is three shots from the leader entering the final round.

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