Three tied at the top in Lancaster as US Women’s Open set for grand finale

Mark McGowan

Minjee Lee during round 3 (Logan Whitton/USGA)

Mark McGowan

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After seeing just four players break par on each of the opening rounds, the USGA blinked and offered a much easier setup in round three, but even still, there were just 13 rounds in red figures for the day.

The best of these belonged to Australian Minjee Lee, who kickstarted the round with an eagle on seven and then traded three birdies with a solitary bogey on the back nine to shoot -4 and move to the head of affairs where she’d be joined by Andrea Lee and Wichanee Meechai.

Lee made five birdies of her own, while 36-hole leader Meechai made three birdies and two bogeys to shoot one-under and make it a three-way tie with 18 holes to go.

Former U.S. Women’s Open winner Minjee Lee will join namesake Andrea in the final pairing on Sunday, with Thai Meechai joined by Japan’s Hinako Shibuno who matched the Australian’s -4 round with seven birdies on the day and moved to -3 overall.

Another former winner in Yuka Saso sits in solo fifth at -2, and then quintet are the only five in red figures after 54 holes and it looks highly likely that the winner will come from these with the duo of Sakura Koiwai and Jin Hee Im who are tied for sixth sitting at +1 for the tournament.

“It didn’t feel super simple, but I just tried to stick to my game plan, tried to make birdies. Obviously I wanted to have a good score on round 3, moving day. I knew there was going to be some opportunities with some of the tees up for birdies, so yeah, pretty much I just tried to take it step by step as you do as a U.S. Open and just stayed in the moment,” said Minjee Lee afterwards.

“I think a couple others are probably going to be on the same score as me, so maybe a shootout, depending on how the course is set up tomorrow.

“I’m sure they’re going to make it a little bit harder than today. But looking forward to the challenge and really looking forward to tomorrow.”

The partisan crowd will likely be heavily behind Andrea Lee, however, as she is the only American in the top five that features an Australian, a Thai and two Japanese.

“Yeah, yesterday coming off my round I felt like I was even more nervous than I was today, actually, just knowing that I was going to be in the final group of a U.S. Women’s Open,” said Andrea.

“But yeah, today I walked out on the tee, and a lot of people were kind of saying, go Andrea. It was really nice to hear that and have the support from the crowd.

“Honestly, I had a blast out there.

“Yeah, it’s an incredible feeling. It’s something that I’ve always dreamed of, vying for major championship wins.

“Michelle Wie West texted me last night, and she told me just whatever the outcome is, just put your 100 percent effort into it. No matter what happens it’s a privilege to be in this moment, to have this opportunity.

“I really took that to heart, and yeah, today I just tried to have fun out there and just play the golf course and not try to play against the field, just me and the golf course.”


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