South Korea’s Lee6 Jeong-eun in yesterday’s third round of the Evian Championship in the French Alps town of Evian-les-Bains. The 2019 US Women’s Open winner is gunning for her second Major title.
EVIAN (France) • No one expected Lee6 Jeong-eun to match her Friday heroics at the Evian Championship, where she fired a 10-under 61 to tie the lowest round in Major history, but the South Korean still had some leftover magic in her clubs yesterday.
On the first hole, her approach missed the green and from an awkward lie in the thick rough with a potential bogey looming, she hit a perfect chip for a tap-in par.
Even-par after 10 holes, she nailed her approach on the par-four 11th for an eagle-two before adding two more birdies down the stretch for a three-under 68 and 18-under total 195.
Lee6, 25, started the third round with a three-shot lead over Thais Pajaree Anannarukarn and Ariya Jutanugarn and begins her hunt this morning for her second Major five clear of her nearest challenger, Yealimi Noh (67).
An untidy bogey on the par-four 13th appeared to halt the 19-year-old American’s challenge but she regrouped in style, racking up three straight birdies on Nos. 16, 17 and 18 thanks to some wonderful iron shots and aggressive play.
Noh, who turns 20 tomorrow, joined the LPGA Tour last year and has been tipped to be one of its newest stars.
A further stroke back in third on 201 is New Zealand’s former world No. 1 Lydia Ko (68), who won this event in 2015. Tied for fourth on 202 are Pajaree (72), Australia’s Minjee Lee (65) and Japan’s Ayaka Furue (68). Ariya stumbled with a 73 and is seventh on 203.
Defending champion Ko Jin-young, who won the title in 2019 while last year’s edition was cancelled due to the pandemic, has struggled on her return to Evian-Les-Bains. A 76 left her at four-over 217 and in 74th spot, a whooping 22 shots behind Lee6.
Lee6 won the 2019 US Women’s Open – her first and only victory on the LPGA Tour.
If she is to claim a second Tour title, coincidentally again at a Major, she will need to rediscover her touch on the greens.
“I had a lot of birdie chances. I could play easily. My putting was really, really good,” Lee6 had said after Friday’s round, when she needed only 23 putts.
She required 31 yesterday.
Besides the trophy, Lee6 has another target within her sights. Compatriot Chun In-gee holds the scoring record in a Major, 21 under achieved at the 2016 Evian.
With those clubs in her hands, few would bet against Lee6 rewriting history.
NO PROBLEM AT ALL
I had a lot of birdie chances. I could play easily. My putting was really, really good.
LEE6 JEONG-EUN, on her superb round of 61 on Friday. She slipped to a 68 yesterday but still leads by five entering the final round.
Day 4: StarHub Ch204, 5.30pm