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Minjee Lee stays in touch at US Women's Open

Lee is four shots from the lead but is playing well enough to still be a winning chance (Photo: USGA / Chris Keane )
Australia’s Minjee Lee kept her hopes of a breakthrough major championship title alive with a round of 1 under par 70 in round three of the US Women’s Open Championship at the Country Club of Charleston in South Carolina and although four shots from the lead she is not without hope of taking the title.

As she had done yesterday with a triple bogey at the 11th her round was marred to some extent by a double bogey at the 10th today but she recovered well enough to keep herself in the tournament.

A bogey at the first was followed by three birdies before the turn and the struggles at the 10th which were, to a large extent the result of a wayward drive.

Lee has produced a massive 16 birdies in her 54 holes to date and if she can find a way to eliminate the disaster holes such as the 10th today and 11th on Friday then she is a genuine chance to take her much anticipated first major and become the 3rd Australian to win the US Women’s Open.

In order for her to do so, she will need to get past the current leaders, second season player Yu Liu of China and Frenchwoman Celine Boutier who earlier this year won her first LPGA Tour title at the Vic Open, and others who are closer to the lead.  

That pair is one ahead of Americans Lexi Thompson, Jaye Marie Green and Japan’s Mamiko Higa with Korea’s Jeongeun Lee6 another shot back in 6th place.

Both leaders, teammates while attending Duke University together, are in their second season on the LPGA Tour, Boutier already a winner and Liu having finished runner-up and 3rd in previous events.

For both however a win tomorrow takes their careers to a new level completely and they will be hard pressed to hold off the likely charge from the eleven players within four shots of the lead and perhaps even further back.

Liu spoke appreciatively of the support Boutier gave her while at Duke. “Because I didn't have a car when I was in school so she always drives me to wherever I wanted to go. We'd always go get dinner and stuff because I wasn't -- I didn't have my license back then as a freshman, and she was -- I just remember her being really kind, really was taking good care of me.”

It is perhaps unlikely that Boutier will be doing Liu any favours tomorrow.

 

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