Three foreign nationals of Korean descent, including the defending champion, are in contention to win the lone LPGA Tour event in Korea, Sunday. Minjee Lee of Australia, an overnight leader, is tied for the 54-hole lead at the BMW Ladies Championship, after shooting a one-under 71, Saturday, to move to an 11-under overall at Seowon Hills at Seowon Valley Country Club in Paju, northwest of Seoul.
Sitting one stroke back are Lydia Ko of New Zealand, the 2022 BMW champion, and Alison Lee of the United States. Minjee Lee, born in Perth to Korean parents, had three birdies and two bogeys on the par-72 course Saturday, allowing Ashleigh Buhai of South Africa, who shot 69, Saturday, to catch her at the top of the leaderboard. Lee will be chasing her 10th career LPGA title and second win of 2023.Ko, who was born in Seoul and moved to New Zealand at age four, shot her second straight round of 69 to climb into title contention. Ko is the only player this week to have shot in the 60s in all three rounds so far. The former world No. 1 will be going for her 20th career LPGA win and her first of 2023.Lee, Ko and Buhai will be in the final group Sunday.
Alison Lee, a Los Angeles native with Korean parents, carded two-under 70 to stay near the top for the third straight day. The former No. 1 in amateur world rankings is in search of her maiden LPGA title. She will play in the second-to-last group with Lauren Coughlin of the United States and Celine Boutier of France. Shin Ji-yai, ex-world No. 1 who has left LPGA to play full time in Japan, is the top Korean through 54 holes, as she sits in a tie for seventh at nine-under. Shin shot 67, tied for the second-lowest round by anyone Saturday.The BMW Ladies Championship began in 2019 and this is the tournament’s fourth edition, with the 2020 event wiped out by the COVID-19 pandemic. Two South Korean players, Jang Hana and Ko Jin-young, won each of the first two editions, before Lydia Ko grabbed her first title on Korean soil in 2022.The purse has been raised from US$2 million at each of the first three tournaments to $2.2 million this year. The champion will cash 온라인카지노 in $330,000 this year, up from $300,000 at the three previous editions.