CINCINNATI — Jeongeun Lee6 was without a top 10 score since the Asia swing in March. On Friday, she posted her best score in almost a year with a 9-under-63. This gave her a one shot lead in the Kroger King City Championship.
Lee6 has been gone for three years since her lone victory on the LPGA Tour at 2019 U.S Womens Open. The 26-year-old South Korean woman has not competed since Singapore at HSBC Womens Championship.
Janet Lin of China had a 68, and she was at 13-under-131. Ally Ewing made six straight birdies in the front nine and shot 64. Janet Lin of Canada was two behind.
Lee6 was never under stress and was at her most around Kenwood Country Club. She made seven birdies in a span of 10 holes.
Lee6 stated that It wasnt a bad round for bogey, and its been a while since I played bogey, so Im really happy today with my game. Two rounds more, so Im going to concentrate on my swing. I focused on my downswing and did very well today.
The first LPGA Tour event in Cincinnati since 1989 will see a teenager in high school. Anna Davis, a 16 year old from San Diego, was the winner of the Augusta National Womens Amateur. She had a 66 and was ranked at 4-under 140.
Davis has been a cut in three out of five LPGA starts this golf season, including the major at the Evian Championship. Two weeks ago, she also made the cut in Canada. She was tied 26th heading into the weekend at Cincinnati.
Davis stated, Im very excited. Im not really in contention, but Im finally up there a little bit on the leaderboard. Itll be nice if itll continue climbing the leaderboard on Saturday.
Gianna Clemente, a 14-year-old girl who splits her time between Ohio, Florida and other states, wasnt so lucky. She is now at her third consecutive LPGA start, having cleared Monday qualifying each time. She opened with a 70 and a bogey-free 70 to give herself a good chance of winning the weekend.
However, she missed the cut by four shots after making just one birdie, two par 5s bogeys and a 77.
The cut was at 1-under-143 on a course that hadnt hosted an LPGA sanctioned tournament since 1963 U.S. Womens Open. The LPGA Championship, another major, was held in the same area for 10 years, until 1989.
The weekend will not include Minjee Lee, the U.S Womens Open champion and Race to CME Globe star Lexi Thompson. Lee never recovered after a 76 in Fridays opening round. She had a 69 Friday.
Thompson, who was in the Dana Opens final group, played 36 holes without making a birdie. Thompson did hole a wedge for eagle at the seventh hole, but that was her only score under par. Thompson shot 16 pars and one bogey for a score of 71.
Paula Creamer made it to the finals in her second event since she had her first child. She scored a 70 and was 2-under 142.
Ten players were within five shot of Lee6.
Maria Fassi, the big-hitting Mexican singer who has struggled with keeping it in the short grass followed a number 68 with a number 66 and was three ahead of Sarah Kemp from Australia (68).
Megan Khang, who was fourth last week, had a score of 66.6 and was four behind.
Fassi, Kemp, and Khang have not won on the LPGA Tour. However, this year has already produced eight first-time winners.
Fassi ended her six-hole round with five birdies.
Last week, it was the opposite. Fassi said that Fassi didnt finish the Friday round the way that I wanted, and that it carried into the weekend. So I just hope that this week I flip the script and continue to improve on how Ive been playing these first 36 hole. Im looking forward to seeing what the next few days bring.