Minjee Lee – photo Kyle Rivas Getty Images
Yesterday it was Australia’s Katherine Kirk who shared the lead at the LPGA’s Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, today it is her fellow countrywoman, Minjee Lee, who has that honour, the West Australian tied for the lead with one round remaining in the event in Rogers, Arkansas.
Lee made the turn in 30 in today’s second round and added two further birdies on the way home for a round of 63 and a share of the lead with Japan’s Nasa Hataoka.
Lee, who has had nearly a month away from tournament golf since finishing in 5th place at the AIG Women’s Open Championship at Carnoustie, improved from 16th after her opening round of 67 to her joint position at the top of the leaderboard.
“I think I really, really needed that month off,” said Lee, referring to a hectic month or so beforehand which included her breakthrough major victory at the Evian Championship.
“Two weeks felt like it was two days pretty much, so I didn’t touch a club for 15 days, so I just practiced the last two weeks and then came here. So, no, it was nice. It was a nice break, a nice kind of prep time before they next couple tournaments I have coming up.
“You know, very familiar with this place. I have great housing here so I just really love coming back. Just the hospitality is always nice and the fans are always great to us. I just think that really makes the tournament special and I just really like coming back.”
Kirk who opened with a round of 63 herself was unable to maintain that momentum but a late birdie after a mid-round struggle kept her in touch although she is now four from the leading trio and tied for 9th.
Lydia Ko is at 4 under and tied for 35th, Su Oh had two eagles in the opening nine of her round of 66 to also be in 35th place and Sarah Jane Smith made the cut in 47th place.