Date: February 15, 2014
Author: Patrick Sexton, Omnisport

Lee surges into joint lead

Just a week after finishing second in the Australian Ladies Master, star amatuer Minjee Lee has once again put herself in a prime position to win her first professional tournament after ending the third day of the Australian Women&aposs Open in a share of the lead.

The 17-year-old looked composed as ever as she carded a four-under round of 68 which included five birdies, moving her to the top of the leaderboard at 13-under for the tournament. She will partner Chella Choi on the final day after the South Korean shot a spectacular ten-under 62 to earn the course record at Victoria Golf Club, bettering the mark of 64 set by Anna Nordqvist of Sweden on Friday. Choi's round was marked by two eagles and seven birdies, with her five-metre putt on the last hole to earn her second eagle a fitting way to end her brilliant round. The pair are two shots clear of New Zealand young gun Lydia Ko, who holed a memorable 100-metre wedge to claim an eagle of her own on the par-five seventeenth to put herself in with a great chance on Sunday. First round leader Suzann Pettersen is a shot further back in fourth, with the Norwegian struggling to continue her good early-tournament form as she ended the day with an even-par round of 72. She wasn't the only one to face problems on the Melbourne sandbelt course, with overnight leader Caroline Hedwall falling away on the back nine to card a disappointing 74, leaving her at nine under for the tournament. The Swede is now in a share of fifth with a host of other players including Holly Clyburn, Karine Icher, Mi Hyang Lee, Amelia Lewis, Morgan Pressel, Jenny Shin and Marianne Skarpnord. Australian veteran Karrie Webb is also in contention on what is a congested leaderboard, with the 39-year-old shooting four-under on Saturday to have a share of thirteenth with fellow Aussie Jessica Speechley and America's Perrine Delacour with the trio sitting on eight-under for the tournament.