Amundi Evian Championship: Jeongeun Lee6 stretches lead to five. Who can catch her?

·5 min read

One day after Jeongeun Lee6 matched the lowest round in major championship history with a 10-under 61, she was back making magic happen with a wedge that spun back into the hole for eagle on the par-4 11th. The Saturday highlight bumped Lee6’s lead to five at the Amundi Evian Championship, the same margin she’d finish the day with after a 3-under 68.

Lee6, who celebrated that 61 with a Coke, is 18 under for the tournament. The 72-hole record for LPGA majors is 21 under, set by In Gee Chun in 2016. Actually, Lee6 looks to follow in the footsteps of Chun in more ways than one. Chun broke through with her first title at the 2015 U.S. Women’s Open and made the Evian her second career victory the following year.

Lee6 captured the 2019 U.S. Women’s Open at the Country Club of Charleston and looks to take her second title at the Evian, like Chun, by a record-setting margin.

“I’m waiting so much (for) second win,” said Lee6, “but this tournament is even the major tournament. If I win, I’ll be very happy. Huge honor.”

Of course, one doesn’t have to look back very far to see how quickly a five-shot lead can disappear. Lexi Thompson led the U.S. Women’s Open by five last month when she walked off the eighth green at The Olympic Club. Thompson didn’t it make it into the playoff, which was eventually won by Yuka Saso.

The largest come-from-behind victories at major championships came at the 2006 ANA Inspiration, won by Karrie Webb, and the 1983 LPGA Championship (now KPMG Women’s PGA), won by Patty Sheehan.

Three players have come from 10 strokes back in LPGA events: Mickey Wright, 1964 Tall City Open; Annika Sorenstam, 2001 The Office Depot; and Louise Friberg, 2008 MasterCard Classic.

The largest come-from-behind victories at the Evian belong to Anna Nordqvist (2017) and Angela Stanford (2018).

A look the closest five chasing the player known as “Six”:

2. Yealimi Noh, -13

Yealimi Noh competes during the Amundi Evian Championship in the French Alps town of Evian-les-Bains on July 24, 2021. (Photo by PHILIPPE DESMAZES / AFP)

Birdied the last three holes to move into solo second. The 19-year-old American rookie looks to make her first LPGA title a major, extending the streak of consecutive first-time major winners to nine. Fans watched in awe as she caught fire at the 2019 Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic, finishing in a share of sixth place at 24-under par in her LPGA professional debut. Noh tied for third at last week's Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational with partner A Lim Kim. Her best finish on the LPGA is a share of second at the 2020 Volunteers of America Classic.

3. Lydia Ko, -12

Lydia Ko of New Zealand plays her tee shot on the seventh hole during day three of the The Amundi Evian Championship at Evian Resort Golf Club on July 24, 2021 in Evian-les-Bains, France. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Lydia Ko became the youngest player to ever win a major when she triumphed in France in 2015 at age 18 years, 142 days. She shot 63 in the closing round for an unforgettable come-from-behind victory. "That final round the year I had won was probably one of the best golf I had played," said Ko. "I think when I had mis-hit shots I was really creative and used the undulations to kind of my advantage. "... with golf you just never know. It's never the end until the glove comes off and the final putt drops in on the last. I just got to stick to my game plan and see."

T4. Minjee Lee, -11

Minjee Lee tees off on the 4th hole during day two of the The Amundi Evian Championship at Evian Resort Golf Club on July 23, 2021 in Evian-les-Bains, France. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

One of the best players on tour without a major, the five-time LPGA winner put herself in a long-shot position to strike with a third-round 65. The 25-year-old Aussie has a pair of third-place finishes in majors and has made 31 cuts in 36 starts. "You know, it can be flipped quickly," said Lee. "I'm just going to try and make as many birdies as I can and try and catch up. I can only control what's in my game. I'll just do that."

T4. Pajaree Anannarukarn, -11

Pajaree Anannarukarn of Thailand lines up a putt on the 18th hole during day three of the The Amundi Evian Championship at Evian Resort Golf Club on July 24, 2021 in Evian-les-Bains, France. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

The 22-year-old Thai player fell off pace on Saturday, struggling off the tee en route to a 1-over 72. "I mean, it's just golf, right?" said Anannarukarn, who is looking for her first LPGA title. "One day you waking up and just driving it good, and next day you feel like, oh, it wasn't the same as yesterday. "Yeah, hopefully getting my routine back and get the feel back hopefully will drive it better tomorrow."

T4. Ayaka Furue, -11

Ayaka Furue plays her tee shot on the seventh hole during day three of the The Amundi Evian Championship at Evian Resort Golf Club on July 24, 2021 in Evian-les-Bains, France. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

A fairways and greens, self-described "safety first" kind of player, Furue continued her stellar and steady play in her Evian debut, carding a second consecutive 68. "In Japan, in particular no greens like this," said Furue of Evian's undulating putting surfaces. She hit 16 greens in the first two rounds and 14 in Round 3. Currently ranked 30th in the world, Furue has played in 21 consecutive events on the Japan LPGA and has eight top-10 finishes this season.

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