“The long birdie putt went in and the match went well.”
Hole 13 (par-4). Yeewon Lee (20) hit his ball 162 yards to the hole and it landed 12 meters to the side. It was a long way to go for a birdie, but he was able to get the ball in the hole with one putt for a nice birdie.
Lee Ye-won carded eight birdies and two bogeys for a 6-under 66 on the first day of the Korean Ladies Professional Golf (KLPGA) Tour’s OK Financial Group Women’s Open (total prize money: 800 million won) at the Club 72 Sky Course in Yeongjongdo, Incheon, on Friday. A pleasant birdie on the 13th hole set the stage for his onslaught.
Starting on the 10th hole, Lee picked up his first birdie in four holes and then birdied four straight holes through the 16th to move to the top of the leaderboard. He then added a birdie on the 18th (par-5) to cut his deficit to five strokes at the halfway point.
His birdie hunt slowed a bit in the second half. Starting with a birdie on the 4th (par-3), he traded three birdies for two bogeys over the next five holes until the 8th (par-3).
“I had birdie chances on the first three holes, but I didn’t make them, and then on the fourth hole, I had a long birdie putt of about 15 paces that went into the hole, which changed my mood,” said Lee. “After that, the game went smoothly and I had a good flow and was able to make a lot of birdies.”
In golf, the flow of the game can have a huge impact on your day. When you’re on a par streak and you make a birdie, it’s a different mood than when you make a bogey. For Lee, the birdie on the 13th was a sign of things to come.
In the second half, he got a little greedy in his birdie hunt.
“After birdieing the fourth hole, I thought, ‘I can cut my strokes down a little bit today,’ but then I made a mistake on the next hole where I pulled my tee shot,” Lee said. “Then I didn’t like my second shot either, but my approach hit a sprinkler and it ran and changed the direction of the ball, so I made a bogey.”
After finishing the first half of the year in second place on the money list with one win, Lee has been on a roll in the second half of the year. After winning the Doosan E&C Weave Championship in August and tying for 31st at the Haiwon Resort Women’s Open, she followed that up with back-to-back runner-up finishes at the Hanwha Classic and the KB Financial Star Championship to take the top spot on the money list.
“I lost about five to 10 yards at the end of the first half due to a drop in my stamina, but after taking about two weeks off, I regained it at the start of the second half and my game has been going well,” said Lee. “I think it’s going to be a birdie battle as the course can cut a lot of points. I will play the rest of the round with a strategy of making fewer mistakes and more birdies.”안전놀이터
Lee, who has earned 989,234,197 won this season, will reach the 1 billion won mark for the first time this season with an 11th place finish or better. If she wins, she will surpass the 1.1 billion won mark and move into a tie for first place on the all-time wins list with Park Ji-young with her third win of the season.