LPGA Q Series: So Mi Lee matches the course record to race ahead of the field
So Mi Lee (LPGA Photo)
So Mi Lee (LPGA Photo)

So Mi Lee from South Korea secured a commanding two-shot lead following 90 holes of tournament play at the LPGA Q-Series. The second-round leader carded a flawless 9-under 63, thus equalling the tournament’s course record during her fifth round of the qualifier. This outstanding performance allowed her to reclaim the lead with a two-shot margin, boasting a total score of 27 under.

The remarkable feat unfolded at the Crossings Course, nestled within the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Magnolia Grove in Mobile, Alabama. 24-year-old Lee, a three-time winner on the Korean LPGA this season, commenced her round at 18-under, trailing Robyn Choi of Australia by three shots, who had maintained the lead for the preceding two days.

Lee continued to impress by notching seven birdies on Holes No. 2, 5, 9, 13, 15, 17, and 18, complemented by an eagle on the par-4 No. 5. Her stellar performance surpassed Choi's lead, surging ahead by two shots to claim the top position.

Notably, Lee, who led after the second round, has consistently maintained a strong position on the leaderboard, never finishing lower than fifth place after any round.

Choi posted an impressive 4-under 68 in her fifth round, navigating through a challenging beginning marked by a double-bogey on Hole No. 1, ending her 57 holes of bogey-free sprint. Undeterred, she swiftly rebounded with a birdie on the par-3 2nd hole. Overcoming a rocky start, Choi demonstrated resilience by securing back-to-back birdies on Holes 5 and 6. After a sequence of five pars, she regained momentum with additional birdies on Nos. 12 and 13.

In the final stretch at the Crossings Course, the Australian golfer delivered two more birdies and a bogey on the last hole, concluding her round at 25-under par. This performance solidified her position in solo second place at 25-under.

In close pursuit is Japanese golfer Mao Saigo, who delivered yet another impeccable performance with a flawless 6-under 66. This marks her third consecutive bogey-free round of the week, securing her a solo-third position at an impressive 24-under.

Yuri Yoshida, a winner on the Japanese LPGA this season, carded 3-under 69 for the day to stand fourth at 21-under.

Following tomorrow's play, competitors concluding in the top 45 and those tied will secure eligibility for the 2024 LPGA. Specifically, those finishing in positions 1-20 and ties will attain LPGA Tour status in Category 14, while players in positions 21-45 and ties will earn LPGA Tour status in Category 15.

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ABOUT THE LPGA Qualifying Series - Final Stage

Final stage of qualifying consists of 8 stroke play rounds over consecutive weeks, with the top 45 players and ties earning LPGA Tour status, and all others earning Symetra Tour status. Each year, many top amateurs try to earn their Tour cards, with successful qualifiers having to decide whether to remain amateur or turn pro and play Final Stage qualifying.

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