CINCINNATI — With no prime 10 for the reason that Asia swing in early March, Jeongeun Lee6 posted her finest rating in practically a yr on Friday with a 9-under 63 that gave her a one-shot lead within the Kroger Queen Metropolis Championship.
Lee6 has gone three years since her lone win on the LPGA Tour on the 2019 U.S. Girls’s Open, and the 26-year-old South Korean hasn’t contended since Singapore on the HSBC Girls’s World Championship.
She was at 13-under 131, one forward of Janet Lin of China, who had a 68. Ally Ewing had six straight birdies on the entrance 9 and shot 64, leaving her two behind.
Lee6 was by no means beneath a lot stress and was at her finest across the flip at Kenwood Nation Membership, making seven birdies in a 10-hole stretch.
“It was a very good bogey-free spherical, and it has been some time I performed bogey-free, so I am actually happy with my recreation at the moment,” Lee6 stated. “Two extra rounds, so I am simply going to concentrate on my swing. I am specializing in simply downswing, so I did rather well at the moment.”
A teen nonetheless in highschool will likely be round for the weekend on the first LPGA Tour occasion in Cincinnati since 1989. Anna Davis, the 16-year-old from the San Diego space who gained the Augusta Nationwide Girls’s Novice, had a 66 and was at 4-under 140.
Davis has made the minimize in three of her 5 LPGA begins this yr, one in all them a significant on the Evian Championship. She additionally made the minimize two weeks in the past in Canada. She was tied for twenty sixth going into the weekend in Cincinnati.
“I am very excited,” Davis stated. “I am not very in rivalry, however type of lastly up there on the leaderboard slightly bit, so it’s going to be good to see if I can hold climbing the leaderboard on the weekend.”
Gianna Clemente, the 14-year-old who splits time between Ohio and Florida, wasn’t so lucky. That is her third straight LPGA begin — getting by way of Monday qualifying every time — and she or he opened with a bogey-free 70 to have a very good probability on the weekend.
However she solely made one birdie, twice took bogey on par 5s and wound up with a 77 to overlook the minimize by 4 pictures.
The minimize was at 1-under 143 on a course that hasn’t hosted an LPGA-sanctioned event for the reason that 1963 U.S. Girls’s Open. One other main, the LPGA Championship, was within the space for 10 years till 1989.
The weekend is not going to embody U.S. Girls’s Open champion Minjee Lee, who leads the Race to CME Globe, or American star Lexi Thompson. Lee by no means recovered from a 76 within the opening spherical. She had a 69 on Friday.
Thompson, who performed within the last group every week in the past on the Dana Open, went 36 holes with out a birdie. She did gap a wedge for eagle on the seventh gap, although that was her lone rating beneath par. Thompson had 16 pars and a bogey for a 71.
Paula Creamer made the minimize in her second occasion again since having her first little one. She had a 70 and was at 2-under 142.
Ten gamers have been inside 5 pictures of Lee6.
Maria Fassi, the big-hitting Mexican who has struggled to maintain it within the brief grass, adopted a 68 with a 66 and was three behind, together with Sarah Kemp of Australia (68).
Megan Khang, a runner-up final week, had a 66 and was 4 behind.
Fassi, Kemp and Khang have but to win on the LPGA Tour, although this yr already has produced eight first-time winners.
Fassi completed with 5 birdies on her final six holes.
“Final week it was the alternative for me. I did not fairly end the best way I needed on the Friday and I feel it carried to the weekend,” Fassi stated. “So I am simply hoping that I flip the script this week and simply proceed to construct on how good I have been enjoying these first 36 holes. I am excited to see what we will do that subsequent couple of days.”