For the second consecutive year, Australian Minjee Lee will sleep on the lead heading into the final round of the Cognizant Founders Cup at New Jersey’s Upper Montclair Country Club.
In 2022, Lee shot a third-round 69 en route to victory. Fast forward a year and Lee bettered her third-round score by two strokes, carding an eagle, four birdies and one bogey in her 5-under 67. Her eagle came at the par-5 12th hole, where she reached the green in two and drained a 20-foot putt. Lee’s putter was on fire on Thursday – she drained a 50-footer for birdie at No. 8 and needed just 28 putts on the day.
“I'm sure I'll be nervous coming down the first hole, but I think they're good nerves,” said Lee of her mindset for Sunday. “I feel pretty good about the golf course and how I'm hitting it, so just going to play my game and play aggressively when I can and play smart when I have to. Stick to my processes and game plan, which I have been doing.”
This is the seventh time in Lee’s LPGA Tour career that she holds a portion of the lead heading into the final round. She has won five of those times, most recently at the 2022 U.S. Women’s Open, and finished second the one time she did not win. With a win, Lee would surpass Rachel (Teske) Hetherington (eight wins) to become the third-winningest golfer from Australia behind World Golf Hall of Famers Karrie Webb (41) and Jan Stephenson (16).
Lee holds a four-stroke advantage over Angel Yin and Hae Ran Ryu, who are tied for second at -9. Yin, who fell in a playoff at The Chevron Championship three weeks ago, and Ryu, a 2023 LPGA Tour rookie, are both looking for the first wins of their LPGA Tour careers. Two-time Cognizant Founders Cup Jin Young Ko and major champion Ashleigh Buhai join Aditi Ashok in a tie for fourth at -8, while Grace Kim and Cheyenne Knight are tied for seventh at -7.