Jeongeun Lee6 finds her kind and leads LPGA in Cincinnati


CINCINNATI (AP) — Without a prime 10 because the Asia swing in early March, Jeongeun Lee6 posted her greatest rating in almost a 12 months on Friday with a 9-under 63 that gave her a one-shot lead within the Kroger Queen City Championship.

Lee6 has gone three years since her lone win on the LPGA Tour on the 2019 U.S. Women’s Open, and the 26-year-old South Korean hasn’t contended since Singapore on the HSBC Women’s World Championship.

She was at 13-under 131, one forward of Janet Lin of China, who had a 68. Ally Ewing had six straight birdies on the entrance 9 and shot 64, leaving her two behind.

Lee6 was by no means below a lot stress and was at her greatest across the flip at Kenwood Country Club, making seven birdies in a 10-hole stretch.

“It was a good bogey-free round, and it’s been a while I played bogey-free, so I’m really satisfied with my game today,” Lee6 stated. “Two more rounds, so I’m just going to focus on my swing. I’m focusing on just downswing, so I did really well today.”

An adolescent nonetheless in highschool will likely be round for the weekend on the first LPGA Tour occasion in Cincinnati since 1989. Anna Davis, the 16-year-old from the San Diego space who gained the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, had a 66 and was at 4-under 140.

Davis has made the minimize in three of her 5 LPGA begins this 12 months, one among them a significant on the Evian Championship. She additionally made the minimize two weeks in the past in Canada. She was tied for twenty sixth going into the weekend in Cincinnati.

“I’m very excited,” Davis stated. “I’m not very in contention, but kind of finally up there on the leaderboard a little bit, so it’ll be nice to see if I can keep climbing the leaderboard on the weekend.”

Gianna Clemente, the 14-year-old who splits time between Ohio and Florida, wasn’t so lucky. This is her third straight LPGA begin — getting by means of Monday qualifying every time — and he or she opened with a bogey-free 70 to have a superb likelihood on the weekend.

But she solely made one birdie, twice took bogey on par 5s and wound up with a 77 to overlook the minimize by 4 photographs.

The minimize was at 1-under 143 on a course that hasn’t hosted an LPGA-sanctioned match because the 1963 U.S. Women’s Open. Another main, the LPGA Championship, was within the space for 10 years till 1989.

The weekend is not going to embrace U.S. Women’s Open champion Minjee Lee, who leads the Race to CME Globe, or American star Lexi Thompson. Lee by no means recovered from a 76 within the opening spherical. She had a 69 on Friday.

Thompson, who performed within the last group per week in the past on the Dana Open, went 36 holes and not using a birdie. She did gap a wedge for eagle on the seventh gap, although that was her lone rating below par. Thompson had 16 pars and a bogey for a 71.

Paula Creamer made the minimize in her second occasion again since having her first youngster. She had a 70 and was at 2-under 142.

Ten gamers had been inside 5 photographs of Lee6.

Maria Fassi, the big-hitting Mexican who has struggled to maintain it within the quick grass, adopted a 68 with a 66 and was three behind, together with Sarah Kemp of Australia (68).

Megan Khang, a runner-up final week, had a 66 and was 4 behind.

Fassi, Kemp and Khang have but to win on the LPGA Tour, although this 12 months already has produced eight first-time winners.

Fassi completed with 5 birdies on her final six holes.

“Last week it was the opposite for me. I didn’t quite finish the way I wanted on the Friday and I think it carried to the weekend,” Fassi stated. “So I’m just hoping that I flip the script this week and just continue to build on how good I’ve been playing these first 36 holes. I’m excited to see what we can do this next couple of days.”

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