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- 15. February 2014.
Lee leads Australian hopes into Classic Open Showdown
Korean Chella Choi blasted a red hot course-record 10-under par 62 in the third round and will tee off with 17 year-old Western Australian amateur Minjee Lee in the final group at the ISPS HANDA Women’s Australian Open at Victoria Golf Club on Sunday.
Choi, who is tied for the lead with Lee at 13-under par, equalled the individual low round record at the tournament set by Lydia Ko in 2013. She played the back nine in 6-under-par and had eagles on the 8th and 18th holes.
“I try to enjoy playing and just focus on one shot and one shot and just keep putting. I think if I just always hit the green, I have a lot of birdie chances. So I focussed on just my shot, before the shot and then shot,” Choi, 23, said.
For Australian Amateur champion Lee it was a 4-under par 68 she described as a “mission” and booked her spot in the final group for the second consecutive week
“Well obviously to make as many birdies as possible but just keep it in play and just keep hitting good shots and getting it close so I can hole the putt, because they weren't really going in. I'm happy with 4-under, I'm stoked with 4-under really,” Lee said.
When asked about the pressure of co-leading a professional tournament, Lee said she was “cruisy” on the course.
“No, not really, I just play. I think it kind of lightens it up a little bit because I'm smiling all the time. I have a good chat with my caddy,” Lee said.
“I think the game plan is always the same. It's been working so far, so why change it?,” she added.
Chasing Choi and Lee is Kiwi World Number 4 Lydia Ko who moved into outright third place with a 3-under par 69 to be two strokes behind the leading pair at 11-under par.
Norwegian Suzann Pettersen finished with an even-par 72 to drop to fourth place at 10-under par.
No less than eight players are tied for fifth place at 9-under par including overnight leader, Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall, Americans Morgan Pressel and Amelia Lewis, England’s Holly Clyburn, France’s Karine Icher and Norwegian Marianne Skarpnord.
Australian Karrie Webb shot a 4-under par 68 to move to 8-under par, five strokes behind the leaders.
A total of 12 players are within four strokes of the lead.
The final group of Choi and Lee tees off at 1.40pm on Sunday.
The final round of the ISPS HANDA Women’s Australian Open will be broadcast live on ABC1 from 1.00pm (AEDST).
The championship is sanctioned by the LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and ALPG Tour.