Jeongeun Lee6 finds her form and leads LPGA in Cincinnati

CINCINNATI (AP) — Without a top 10 since the Asia swing in early March, Jeongeun Lee6 posted her best score in nearly a year on Friday with a 9-under 63 that gave her a one-shot lead in the Kroger Queen City Championship.

Lee6 has gone three years since her lone win on the LPGA Tour at the 2019 U.S. Women’s Open, and the 26-year-old South Korean hasn’t contended since Singapore at the HSBC Women’s World Championship.


She was at 13-under 131, one ahead of Janet Lin of China, who had a 68. Ally Ewing had six straight birdies on the front nine and shot 64, leaving her two behind.

Lee6 was never under much stress and was at her best around the turn at Kenwood Country Club, making seven birdies in a 10-hole stretch.

“It was a good bogey-free round, and it’s been a while I played bogey-free, so I’m really satisfied with my game today,” Lee6 said. “Two more rounds, so I’m just going to focus on my swing. I’m focusing on just downswing, so I did really well today.”

A teenager still in high school will be around for the weekend at the first LPGA Tour event in Cincinnati since 1989. Anna Davis, the 16-year-old from the San Diego area who won the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, had a 66 and was at 4-under 140.

Davis has made the cut in three of her five LPGA starts this year, one of them a major at the Evian Championship. She also made the cut two weeks ago in Canada. She was tied for 26th going into the weekend in Cincinnati.

“I’m very excited,” Davis said. “I’m not very in contention, but kind of finally up there on the leaderboard a little bit, so it’ll be nice to see if I can keep climbing the leaderboard on the weekend.”

Gianna Clemente, the 14-year-old who splits time between Ohio and Florida, wasn’t so fortunate. This is her third straight LPGA start — getting through Monday qualifying each time — and she opened with a bogey-free 70 to have a good chance at the weekend.

But she only made one birdie, twice took bogey on par 5s and wound up with a 77 to miss the cut by four shots.

The cut was at 1-under 143 on a course that hasn’t hosted an LPGA-sanctioned tournament since the 1963 U.S. Women’s Open. Another major, the LPGA Championship, was in the area for 10 years until 1989.

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