CINCINNATI — Two-time main champion Minjee Lee opened with three straight birdies, made up a 6-shot deficit on the flip and posted a 7-under 65 on Saturday to take a 2-shot lead into the ultimate spherical of the Kroger Queen Metropolis Championship.
Lee performed bogey-free on a Kenwood Nation Membership course that was so agency that even some photographs with wedge had a tough time staying on the greens. She leaned on her putter, closing out her spherical with a 12-foot par save.
That gave her a 2-shot lead over Charley Hull of England and Peiyun Chien of Taiwan, who rallied from a tough begin to get again to even par for the day solely to go lengthy over the 18th inexperienced and miss a 5-foot par putt.
Hull bounced again from a triple bogey to begin the third spherical with seven birdies, posting a 68 that will get her within the ultimate group. Chien is making her a hundred and fortieth begin on the LPGA Tour and had her first 36-hole lead. It was passed by the flip.
Chien began with a double bogey, answered with two straight birdies however then misplaced floor with three bogeys over 4 holes to shut out the entrance 9. That included a three-putt bogey on No. 9 that put her 1 shot behind for the primary time all day.
Lee by no means actually slowed after her quick begin. She went in entrance with a fragile flop shot from under the inexperienced on the reachable par-4 tenth, the ball rolling out to a couple ft for birdie. She made a 15-foot birdie on the following gap and at one level was 3 photographs clear.
“Having that momentum actually helps, particularly when it can save you your par putts,” Lee stated. “That is the important thing for momentum. Making birdies is good, however key par putts are essential, too.”
Lee was at 15-under 201 as she goes for her first win this 12 months. She had a three-shot lead on the Founders Cup earlier this summer season, just for Jin Young Ko to rally to beat her.
Lee started to drag away with a two-putt birdie on the par-5 fifteenth, adopted by a wedge into 12 ft for birdie on the sixteenth.
Hull tried to maintain tempo with three birdies over his final six holes.
“Laughed it off and birdied the following couple,” Hull stated of her begin. “It was fairly windy, fairly tough. Patches of them [the greens] are agency, different patches are spinning. It is tough, which I fairly like. It performs into my fingers.”
Chien drove right into a bunker and obtained up-and-down for birdie on the tenth and made a fantastic par save from properly behind the inexperienced on the par-3 eleventh, hitting a flop shot up a steep slope to a couple ft away from the again pin. She hit wedge to five ft on the sixteenth for birdie, added one other on the seventeenth with a 15-foot birdie from the perimeter and was one behind.
However her strategy to the 18th bounced laborious and rolled over the inexperienced. She used putter to get it about 5 ft from the outlet and missed it on the excessive aspect.
Morgane Metraux of Switzerland birdied the 18th for a 70 and was 3 photographs behind. Metraux got here into the match at No. 107 within the Race to CME Globe and is working out of tournaments to get into the highest 80 who’ve full standing for subsequent 12 months.
Ruoning Yin of China, who wants to complete solo fourth or higher to achieve No. 1 within the girls’s world rating, started her spherical with three straight bogeys. She obtained two of these photographs again and had a 73, leaving her 6 photographs behind.