LPGA Founders Cup Round 3 Update

Story posted May 13, 2023 in CommRadio, Sports by Amanda Vogt

CLIFTON, N.J. - Moves were made on moving day at the Cognizant Founders Cup.

Minjee Lee, the defending champion, made the most of her third round shooting a five-under 67 to give her a three-shot lead over the field.

After bogeying the first hole, Lee bounced back with a string of four birdies on the front nine. She took the risk on the par-five twelfth and received the reward by carding an eagle to make the jump to 12 under par.

Sarah Kemp and Jin Young Ko, the 36-hole leaders, were unable to hang onto their one-stroke lead and faced struggles at Upper Montclair Country Club — nonetheless, they still hang within the mix.

Yesterday, Kemp spoke about how she admires Lee’s poise on the course: “I played with her the last two days in the foursomes [at the International Crown], and she just makes it so simple. It’s just kind of see it, feel it, hit it.”

“Yeah, I mean, I’m mostly pretty chill when I’m playing, like I show, but there is a little bit of nerves; it just depends on the situation I’m in,” Lee said. “I just try to hit one shot at a time and just one foot in front of the other.”

For a course that is hard to be aggressive on, Lee took full advantage of today’s pin placements which were in better positions to attack compared to previous rounds.

However, not every player would agree.

Angel Yin, who sits three back at -9, tied for second, believes “you have to be patient” and “sometimes pars are huge.”

The consensus among players is that this course requires “smart golf” and quality decision making and Ashley Budhai has embraced the struggle this week: “I just like it when courses play tough and you have to think…you have to be patient out here.”

Finding that balance between playing aggressively and conservatively is the key to posting low scores and could be the determining factor as to who walks away with the trophy.

With the win, Lee would notch her first victory of the 2023 season and successfully defend her title.

Yin and Hae Ran Ryu are tied for second, three shots back; Budhai, Aditi Ashok and Ko sit four behind and will have a lot of catching up to do.

But successfully completing the chase won’t be easy.

As Yin recalls from her 2022 efforts at this event, “As much as I wanted to go for it, there was nothing I could do because there were no opportunities.”

Anticipation is high for the final round of this year’s Founders Cup, but heading into the round Lee still aims to “play [her] own game and stick to what [she] can control.”

Amanda Vogt is a first-year student majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email her at aev5215@psu.edu