South Korea’s Minjee Lee finishes tied for sixth at LPGA Thailand

Written by by Joe Blackstock, CNN

South Korea’s Minjee Lee stands not unlike Marmite: hard to love or like, much like the impressive former Scottish Campbell College course in Dumfries & Galloway where she competes in the Ladies European Tour.

Ranked the world’s top-ranked amateur golfer by the governing body at 15 years old, she became the youngest LPGA Tour rookie in September, with a winning two-round total of 10-under to claim the event at the Moonang Syung Karen Hills in South Korea.

The breakthrough win came with Lee’s loopy, par-saving putting coming to the fore to seal the win in a group of contenders that included South Korea’s Sei Young Kim, who finished in a share of fourth place.

So it must have come as a relief for Lee to complete her fourth round on Friday, post a 70 and continue a strong enough finish to leave her in a tie for sixth place, four shots behind leader, American Brittany Lincicome.

Fifty-five year-old Lincicome entered the week as the world’s top ranked woman golfer with an impressive win at last week’s LPGA Taiwan Championship.

But after a shaky start to the second round, the ‘Lucky’ Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro showed maturity to upstage the American, firing a 65 to take the lead, which she retained with two threesomes set to tee off on Saturday.

All five-time LPGA winner, LPGA Hall of Famer and Abu Dhabi winner, Lorena Ochoa, battled to a 69 on Friday to remain four shots off the pace.

With only three more rounds to go before the LPGA season finale on Palm Beach in Florida, things are certainly looking up for Lee, who began her fourth round with a bogey on the second hole, but steadied the ship with three birdies on the front-nine.

In the last half-dozen holes, Lee managed another hat-trick of birdies to move back into contention. But she was unable to capitalise in the closing stages, recording another bogey on her penultimate hole.

In the group behind, fellow South Korean Maria Hjorth sunk four birdies and added another at the 16th to shoot a 68.

Shanghai Lynx take three on Thai tour

In terms of Asian Tour winners, the Briton Hye-Jin Choi claimed her first title of the season at the Bangkok Show Golf Championship.

Her career-high finish of second in the list of all-time Asian Tour winners moved her into a share of 19th in the LPGA order of merit.

Choi finished with a 25-under tournament total of 270, which now places her third in the Asian Tour rankings behind American Alison Lee and Chun In-gee of South Korea.

Choi started her third round with a birdie on the first hole, but then began to unravel, carding five consecutive bogeys on the back nine.

She countered her struggles on the putting green by bagging three birdies on the front-nine and sealing her win by sinking an eagle at the 15th hole.

Local favorite Laura Davies, however, managed to grab her second win of the season when she carded a 65 to seize victory in the Rolex Malaysia 2017 Bangkok and Kochi Asia Marine Open in Hua Hin.

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