It's been a tough year for LPGA Tour winner Andrea Lee, but the California native seems to be on the up as she is currently sitting in a tie for second through two rounds at the AIG Women's Open at Walton Heath Golf Club. After opening with a 1-under 71 on Thursday, Lee picked up the pace on Friday, carding a 4-under 68 that saw her make one bogey and five birdies to post her lowest 18-hole score since February when she shot a final-round 67 on Sunday at the Honda LPGA Thailand.
The Stanford University alum started slow, making four pars and a bogey on par-4 4th hole, her only dropped shot of the day. She birdied holes 6 and 9 to turn in 34 and grabbed another birdie on the par-5 11th hole to get 3-under overall with seven holes to play. After making four consecutive pars, Lee closed her round with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 16 and 17 and a par on 18 to post a 68 and sit five back of the lead held by Ally Ewing. It's the first time that Lee has opened with two under-par rounds since the 2022 BMW Ladies Championship when she shot back-to-back 6-under 66s and she was incredibly happy with her second-round effort, finally feeling like things are clicking into place.
"I'm really satisfied with the way I played today. I stayed really patient, and I only had one bogey on the card, birdied all the par 5s and birdied two par 3s," said Lee, who became a Rolex First-Time Winner at the 2022 Portland Classic. "I didn't make any careless mistakes out there. No 3-putts either so that was nice. Had a great save on 15. I pulled it into the heather, the purple stuff, and managed to save par. I felt like that was a birdie. Trying to minimize the mistakes out there as much as I can."
Lee came to Surrey, England, this week fresh off a T9 performance at the FREED GROUP Women's Scottish Open presented by Trust Golf, her lone top-10 result of the 2023 LPGA Tour season. This is her 16th start of the year, and she has missed seven cuts and has only managed to find the top 25 twice, not including last week's tie for ninth, finishing T21 at the Mizuho Americas Open and T20 at the U.S. Women's Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links.
This week at Walton Heath is Lee's fourth start in the AIG Women's Open, and in her three previous appearances in this event, she hasn't missed a single cut, earning one top-10 result in 2020 when she finished in a tie for seventh at Royal Troon. Now sitting in contention through 36 holes at the fifth and final major of the year, Lee is going to try her best to treat these next 36 holes just like the first two days and will continue to build off this solid start as she looks to chase down Ewing and capture her first major title and second LPGA Tour victory.
"Being a major champion is at the top of the list for my goals in my career, and I put myself in contention this weekend, and I'm not going to try and think about it, think about the outcome or the results," she said. "I'm just going to do what I did the first two days and try and just stay really patient, and hopefully, it will turn out well.”