Date: June 24, 2018
Author: Martin Blake

Minjee Lee leaps to LPGA lead


A month after her first win for the LPGA Tour season, Australia’s Minjee Lee is chasing another one hard in Arkansas.

The 22-year-old Lee, who has recently jumped into the world’s top 10 players, is tied for the lead through two rounds of the NW Arkansas Championship at Pinnacle Golf Club in Rogers.

Lee, who came through Golf Australia’s elite amateur programs and plays out of Royal Fremantle, had just one bogey in her second-round 65 to go with her opening 64.

She shares the lead with Japanese prodigy Nasa Hataoka, who has been mentored and coached by Gareth Jones, the former South Australian state coach.

They are at 13 -under par in a tournament that is three rounds. World No. 3 Lexi Thompson and world No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn who among those very much in the running.

"It was good,’’ said Lee, who is seeking her fifth tour win. “I started on the back nine, I think I had 5 under on the back nine, so yeah, I had a pretty good start to my round. I thought it was not going to be as windy, but it was a little bit gusty here and there on the back nine. I pretty much took advantage of the calmer conditions in the morning and then my finishing couple holes it did get a little windier."

Another Australian, Scott Hend, is tied for the lead through three rounds of the BMW International Open in Germany.

Hend had a rough day at Golf Club Gut Laerchenhof, a 73, but he retains a share with six other players at five-under par through three rounds.

In America, Jason Day jumped into a tie for sixth at the Travelers Championship but everyone is chasing Englishman Paul Casey, who shot 62 to lead by four shots.