Lee and Choi lead Women's Aussie Open
BY Bruce Young | LPGA Tour | 2014 ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open | Round Three | 15 Feb 2014
23 year old Korean, Chella Choi, and 17 year old West Australian amateur, Minjee Lee, share the lead through 54 holes of the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open at the Victoria Golf Club in Melbourne.
For both players tomorrow represents a great chance to secure a first LPGA Tour victory although just what that will mean for Lee remains to be seen. She is at this stage ineligible to play the LPGA Tour although exceptions from the under 18 age rule have been made of late for Lexi Thompson and Lydia Ko.
That all remains ahead however as the two leaders have two of the game’s elite, Lydia Ko and Suzanne Pettersen, breathing down their necks just two and three shots behind respectively
Choi did finish runner-up in an LPGA Tour event in Japan last year and did finish runner-up to Karrie Webb at last year’s Volvik RACV Ladies Masters.
Choi’s round of 62 was simply stunning more especially her finishing burst of five birdies and an eagle in her last seven holes
Lee, from the Royal Fremantle Golf Club near Perth, finished runner-up to Cheyenne Woods at last week’s event on the Gold Coast and a few weeks earlier completed her second consecutive Australian Amateur Championship victory.
Ko was just treading water before an eagle at the par five 17th, where she holed a lengthy third shot, assisted her cause as she chases her third LPGA Tour victory, two of those as an amateur.
Pettersen is perhaps still the woman to beat however and has the added incentive of knowing if she finishes first or second outright she will become the world number one. She will be bitterly disappointed at a finish which saw her drop shots at the 16th and relatively easy par five last but she is still in the mix.
Karrie Webb made an encouraging move early in her third round but over her closing nine holes was unable to maintain the momentum but at five behind she is not yet out of it although she will need something very special tomorrow.
West Australian Jessica Speechley shares that position with Webb.