WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — Minjee Lee eagled the par five third hole Friday morning and nearly holed out for an eagle on the seventh hole, instead “settling” for one of her three birdies on the day en route to a second-round 68 and a 36-hole score of seven-under par.
By the end of her round, the Austrailian rookie Lee’s name topped the leaderboard at the LPGA Kingsmill Championship, though American Alison Lee later made it to nine-under.
Minjee Lee was the world’s number one amateur before turning pro, and she said this is the first time in her rookie season she’s been in contention.
When asked if she preferred to be ahead and holding off competitors or behind and chasing a leader, Lee said, “This is kind of like the first time I’ve been in this situation so it’s going to be a whole new experience, and I’d be happy to be either one.” She continued, “I just want to have fun with my caddie and play some really good golf — nothing too serious.”
Putting heat on both Lees is the World’s 11th-ranked player Lexi Thompson, who erased an erratic opening-round 72 (+1) with a smooth second-round 66 (-5). At -4 for the tournament, Thompson is well within striking distance of Minjee Lee, Alison Lee, and everyone else at the top of the leaderboard heading into the weekend.
“I would say overall I committed more to my lines out there,” Thompson said when asked what changed between Thursday and Friday. “I was a bit more confident over the ball especially putting too. I think that’s what golf is all about just going into every shot with a positive mindset.”
Another rookie who gets a lot of attention is Cheyenne Woods. She’s talented, but members of the media tend to ask her about her famous uncle: Tiger Woods.
“I’m used to it. Ever since I’ve been playing golf I’ve had media attention, so it’s something that I expect,” Woods said.
Woods finished her first 36 holes at +5 and did not make the cut. Putting hurt her dearly.
“I had six three-putts in the past two days,” Woods said. “Mainly speed and then missing them inside of four feet to save for par.”
Woods had reason to smile, though. Thursday’s first-round 76 (+5) may have kept her from making the cut, but her second-round 71 (E) included five birdies.
“The course is really fun to play. I really enjoyed it,” Woods said. “I didn’t bring my best game this week so hopefully next year I’ll be back and be in contention.”
The LPGA Kingsmill Championship continues Saturday and Sunday in Williamsburg.
ROUND 2 LEADERBOARD
1. Alison Lee (-9)
T2. Minjee Lee (-7)
T2. Perrine Delacour (-7)
4. So Yeon Ryu (-6)
T5. Suzann Pettersen (-5)
T5. Jing Yan (-5)
T5. Christina Kim (-5)
T5. Catriona Matthew (-5)
T9. Julieta Granada (-4)
T9. Lexi Thompson (-4)
T9. Angela Stanford (-4)
T9. Paula Creamer (-4)
T13. 9 players at -3