Mon. Apr 22nd, 2024

Minjee Lee’s three-under 69 sees her lead at the midway point for the 11th time in her LPGA Tour career; her 11-under score is her lowest through 36 holes since winning the 2022 US Women’s Open; Ashleigh Buhai was leading at 13 under before closing with four bogeys over the final six holes

Last Updated: 20/10/23 7:16pm

Minjee Lee leads at the midway point for the 11th time in her LPGA Tour career

Australia’s Minjee Lee secured a two-stroke lead through 36 holes of the BMW Ladies Championship, battling swirling winds on Friday in Gyeonggi-do, South Korea.

Following a three-under 69 that featured four birdies and one bogey, Lee leads at the midway point for the 11th time in her LPGA Tour career, sitting 11 under par – her lowest 36-hole score since winning the 2022 US Women’s Open, the second of her two major triumphs.

First-round leader Ashleigh Buhai of South Africa and America’s Alison Lee are tied for second, two shots back at nine under after rounds of 73 and 72 respectively.

Ashleigh Buhai was leading before carding four bogeys in her final six holes

Minjee Lee birdied both par-five holes on the back nine (11 and 15) at Seowon Valley Country Club, reaching the green in two at the latter. She then capped her round with another birdie at the 18th.

“Obviously the par-fives, a couple of them, you can really be quite aggressive,” she said. “I just tried to take as much advantage as I could when the wind was behind us.

“And obviously the birdie on 18 was just like cherry on top. So it was nice to finish on a good note.”

Minjee Lee celebrates her US Women’s Open win in 2022

The 27-year-old added that it would be special to win in the country where both her parents were born.

“I have a really deep heritage here,” she said. “So I always love coming back and playing.

“Being at the top of the leaderboard is always nice, and being in contention is always my goal. Hopefully I can have a great weekend.”

Buhai was at 13 under through 12 holes before closing with four bogeys over the final six, including three in a row at holes 13 through 15.

“I think that is one of the toughest days I’ve ever had on a golf course in terms of the wind switching,” Buhai said. “I’ve never played any round where the wind just switched that much.”

Defending champion Lydia Ko of Australia (69) and South Koreans Jeongeun Lee6 (68) and Hae Ran Ryu (71) are tied for fourth at eight under, three shots back of the leader.

England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff is in a share of ninth at six under

Last week’s Buick LPGA Shanghai winner Angel Yin is tied with China’s Yan Liu at seven under, with Nelly Korda, France’s Celine Boutier and England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff in a share of ninth spot at six under.

Current world No 1, and two-time major winner in 2023, Lilia Vu, closed with a double-bogey at 18 to settle for a second-round 76 to sit way off the pace at one over for the week.

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The post BMW Ladies Championship: Minjee Lee battles windy conditions to build two-stroke lead at halfway point in South Korea appeared first on WorldNewsEra.

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