Date: August 02, 2015
Author: Mark Hayes

Lee stands tall among Open’s big guns

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Perth’s Minjee Lee stands within striking distance of the Women’s British Open with one round to play.

Lee, 19, is in such exalted company heading into tonight’s closing round at Turnberry that she’ll tee it up alongside world No.1 Inbee Park and right behind No.2 Lydia Ko in a leaderboard oozing with class.

But for all the power around – four of the world’s top six are within four shots of the eight-under-par lead – they’ll be chasing two relative unknowns.

Taiwan’s Teresa Lu and Korean Jin Young Ko matched each other’s scores for the third consecutive round overnight, their 69s good enough to vault past Norwegian Suzann Pettersen (-7), with Japan’s Mika Miyazato fourth at -6.

But Lee, as ever, does not appear remotely daunted by her peers and, at -5 alongside the world’s top-ranked pair, has a great chance to win her first major championship.

The West Australian ace began beautifully with a birdie on the fourth hole after several chances slid narrowly by.

But a bogey on the sixth hole seemed to slow her progress and six consecutive pars showed no sign of the shots that soon propelled her into contention.

The world No.16 made a spectacular eagle on the par-5 14th, then covered her bogey on the 15th with an immediate birdie on the 16th to seal her 70 to stay within three strokes of the lead.

The pair of Victorians comprising what’s left of the Australian contingent enjoyed different third rounds.

Melbourne’s Su Oh endured two front-nine double-bogeys and simply couldn’t find her normal rhythm on the back nine en route to a 79 that sent her down to 12 over.

But Cressy’s Stacey Keating leapfrogged many spots up the leaderboard with a fighting 73.

Keating made three bogeys and a double, but each time almost immediately hit back with a birdie to finish four over and tied 35th.