Lee leads Australian Masters; Lexi two back
GOLD COAST, Australia — Bo-mee Lee of South Korea shot a 7-under 65 on Thursday to take a one-stroke lead in the Australian Ladies Masters.
U.S. Open champion So Yeon Ryu, the early leader, was a stroke back with a 66 at Royal Pines with fellow-South Korean Hee Kyung Seo and Christel Boeljon of the Netherlands.
American teenager Lexi Thompson had five birdies in an error-free round to sit two strokes off the pace with England’s Felicity Johnson and Australians Nikki Campbell and Stephanie Na.
The 16-year-old Thompson became the youngest LPGA Tour winner last year, taking the Navistar LPGA Classic in Alabama in September. She also won the Ladies European Tour’s Dubai Ladies Masters in December.
Lee was a six-shot runner-up to Karrie Webb in the 2010 Masters.
“Driving good, irons good, putting good. Easy, easy day,” she said through an interpreter.
Ryu, who teed off from No. 10, said she felt the weight of expectation after her major win.
“The first few holes I was very nervous as it is my first tournament of the year,” she said. “But on the 12th hole I made a nice birdie putt so I could finally relax.”
Thompson played with 14-year-old New Zealand amateur Lydia Ko, who become the youngest winner of a professional golf tour event Sunday when she won the women’s New South Wales Open by four strokes.
Ko bogeyed two of her last four holes to finish with a 70.
“She’s an amazing player. She’s so consistent, she barely misses shots,” Thompson said of Ko. “She’s not scared of anything, you can tell.”