Clifton, NJ ( Associated Press) — Minji Lee seemed more concerned about finishing her third round on a dull, rainy day than maintaining the lead in the Cognizant Founders Cup.
The 25-year-old LPGA Tour scoring leader advanced within a round on Saturday to register his first win of the year and seventh of his career.
Lee had an eagle-birdie run on the last nine and shot 3-under 69 to take a one-shot lead over Sweden’s Madeleine Sagström in a day Upper Montclair Country Club showed some teeth with the wind and the rain falling. were the leaders for the last 11 holes.
Lee, who had a three-shot lead at halfway point, was 17-under 199 after 54 holes.
“You know, I’ve been doing really well this whole year,” Lee said. Lee took two top-three spots this year. “I’ve been working hard and working hard on everything, so it would be really nice to see the result of a win.”
Sagström, the Swede, who had a first-round lead after 63, made a third-round best finish with 67. The 29-year-old is looking for his second win.
“I made a good score today, and if I just keep playing my game, hitting good puts, giving myself good chances, you never know,” said Sagstrom. “But I just have to live in the present. That’s really what I have to do.”
Sagstrom briefly went into a tie for the lead with a birdie on par-5 12th as Lee captured No. 11 after a foul tee shot.
Lee again took the lead with a 15 to 18-foot putt with an eagle on number 12 and a birdie on number 13.
“I think everyone can get to that hole in two,” Lee said.
Lexi Thompson started the round with Sagstrom at 11-under, and was alone in third after 69, three shots behind. She could have been close to her first win since 2019, but she missed at least five or six putts.
Thompson said of the win, “I’m not even looking forward to that.” “Just to come out tomorrow, take it one shot at a time. I know I’ve worked, so coming out of here, resting, and committing to my golf shots; that’s all I do.” I can do that.”
Angel Yin scored 68 and moved to fourth place in 11-under. He made five birdies and one bogey.
“I actually left a lot in there,” Yin said. “I hit it really well so I gave myself a lot of forms. That was really great. In fact I left at least four out there that I felt like I could make up.”
Eli Ewing, who finished second after two rounds, achieved nothing in scoring 74. She was ranked fifth with South Africa’s Paula Reto and Megan Khang in 9th place.
Japan’s Nasa Hatoka, who won in Los Angeles last month, was ahead in the group by a nine-shot lead. Champion Jennifer Kupcho was also 8 Under at Mission Hills in the first major of the season.
Two-time defending champion and No. 1 South Korea’s Jin Young was far behind Ko at 5 under.
Anna Davis, a 16-year-old lefty who recently won the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, remained at 4 under after shooting par.
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