Minjee Lee Takes 3-Shot Lead Over Cognizant Founders Cup

Australia’s Minjee Lee went low on Friday with a 9-under 63 to take the 36-hole lead at the Cognizant Founders Cup in Clifton, NJ

Lee’s round featured eight birdies, an eagle and just one bogey. It helped her build a three-shot lead over Ally Ewing, Lexi Thompson and Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom, who tied for second at 11 under the weekend.

Lee hit a long putt to take the par-5 12th at the Upper Montclair Country Club. She was on track for a career low at 62 before her lone bogey at number 16 knocked her back a shot.

“I pretty much go shot for shot and don’t get too far ahead of myself,” Lee said. “When I had a putt, I tried to hole him. When I had a shot, I tried to hit him close.”

Lee is looking for her first LPGA Tour win since the Evian Championship – her first major title – last July.

Sagstrom led after the first round thanks to her own 63 Thursday, but as of Friday on the back nine she was 2 over par for her round through five holes. She recovered with a birdie at number 18 and three more up front to shoot a 2-under 70.

“I was talking to (caddy Shane Codd) and I think I was trying a little too hard,” said Sagstrom. “I was trying to find the same momentum I had yesterday and it just wasn’t there, so I think I had to calm myself down a bit.”

Thompson shot a bogey-free 66, and Ewing tied the 66 with seven birdies and only one bogey. Thompson was happy to improve her back nine result from a 1-over 37 Thursday to a 3-under 33 Friday.

“My front nine was definitely a little fuzzy (Thursday). Wasn’t my best hit,” said Thompson. “I just felt a little out of it. But I was just trying to scratch that as I went into the corner. … Let’s just start scratching and just hit the pins and commit to my shots. That’s all I can do.”

New Jersey was also the setting for Thompson’s final win on tour – the ShopRite LPGA Classic 2019.

Finland’s Sanna Nuutinen shot a 4-under 68 to take sole possession of fifth at 9 under. South Africa’s Paula Reto (67), Spain’s Carlota Ciganda (69) and Megan Khang (72) were sixth at 8 under.

Eighty players made it to 1 under or better, including defending champion and world champion Jin Young Ko from South Korea (5 under). 16-year-old amateur Anna Davis shot a second straight 70 to make the cut at 4 under, her second making just as many starts on tour.

–Field level media

Leave a Comment