After 54 holes at the BMW Ladies Championship, a pair of KLPGA Tour rookies sit atop the leaderboard, both looking for a potentially career-changing victory on Sunday. Somi Lee and Seung Yeon Lee share the top spot at -13, with former LPGA Tour player and current KLPGA star Ha Na Jang just one stroke behind at -12. With a win, all three players would have the option to accept LPGA Tour Membership, either effective immediately or starting with the 2020 season.
Seung Yeon Lee closed strong, carding birdies at 14, 15, 16 and 17 to shoot a 4-under 68 on Saturday, bouncing back from an early double bogey at No. 6.
“I really tried to focus on the present,” said Seung Yeon Lee, who won the KLPGA Tour’s NEXEN - Saint Nine Masters in April. “I wasn't thinking about how many birdies I was making, how many pars I was making or if I wasn't too wrapped up in how I made a double bogey. Instead I just focused on every shot. I knew I was making birdies, but I was focused so much on the present that I didn't know I had made four consecutive birdies.”
Somi Lee birdied six of her final 10 holes in the third round to shoot a 5-under 67. Two weeks ago, she was runner-up to Rolex Rankings No. 1 Jin Young Ko at the Hite Jinro Championship, one of the KLPGA Tour’s five major championships.
Three LPGA Tour players are tied for fourth at -11 – last week’s winner Danielle Kang, four-time LPGA winner Amy Yang and Su Oh, who is looking for her first victory in her fourth year on Tour. Kang started the day with a one-stroke lead after back-to-back 67s, but she could not find that same rhythm on Saturday. After opening with three bogeys and one birdie over her first five holes, Kang came back to life on the back nine, coming home with birdies on 11, 12 and 15 for a Saturday round of 1-under 71.
“It was a very frustrating round today. I hit the wrong number twice. Every mistake you could possibly think of, we made it,” said Kang, who is aiming to become the LPGA Tour’s first back-to-back winner since 2017. “I was proud that we were able to capitalize on certain holes and make some birdies coming in. I know that finishing in the red numbers was important. There was a lot of birdies out there today and I knew. I didn't see much of the leaderboard, but I knew people were going low, so I was kind of frustrated.”