Lee6 tied for lead at ShopRite LPGA Classic
GALLOWAY, N.J. (AP) — Jeongeun Lee6 got right back to work after winning the U.S. Women’s Open last weekend.
Coming off her first major title, Lee6 shot an 8-under 63 to grab a share of the lead after Friday’s opening round in the ShopRite LPGA Classic.
“I felt pretty relaxed on the course,” said Lee6, a 23-year-old LPGA Tour rookie from South Korea. “I didn’t feel nervous. I think I did pretty good. I played it just like how I played it last week.”
Lee6 posted an eagle and nine birdies to go along with three bogeys. Her two-putt birdie at her last hole, the par-5 ninth, moved her into a tie for first place with Pornanong Phatlum of Thailand.
Lee6 said she was a little tired when she arrived at the Jersey Shore, but felt it was an advantage that the 54-hole ShopRite enabled her to get another day of rest.
“This tournament is only three rounds and so I got a couple of days off for me,” she said. “Then I’ve been balancing myself to make my physical and mental (condition) be stable. So I’ve just been working on that. And then also the weather was better than last week’s weather.”
It was sunny and breezy at the Bay Course at Seaview for much of the day before turning cloudy and cooler late.
The 29-year-old Phatlum posted seven birdies while playing in the morning on smoother greens. She made a 12-foot eagle putt on her final hole.
“I feel like I got more confident after last week,” said Phatlum, who tied for 16th at the Women’s Open following a 70-70 finish. “I tried to be playing my game and not put pressure on myself, so it makes me more relaxed on the course (with) more good results.”
Lexi Thompson, the top American in the world rankings who tied for second in last week’s Open, shot a 64. She was part of a three-way tie for third with rookies Kristen Gillman and Muni He.
“Last week was tough,” Thompson said. “It’s so intense and such a long week. It’s very draining. Coming here I took two days off and then I just practiced Wednesday and played my 18-hole Pro-Am round (Thursday). It’s working out for me so far.”
Japan’s Ayako Uehara fired a 65. She was the only player to shoot that number.
Eight players were at 5 under, including Angel Yin, who was part of the runner-up group last weekend. Two-time champion Stacy Lewis and crowd favorite Paula Creamer were in a pack at 67.
Defending champion Annie Park fired a 69.
In all, 76 players bettered par, with 45 scores in the 60s.
The tournament offers $1.75 million in prize money, with $262,500 going to the winner.