Scorching Lee goes low in desert
Daniel Lee broke two tournament records Sunday and has a six-shot lead heading into the final round of the Thunderbird International Junior. Lee fired a bogey-free, 9-under-par 63 to set an 18-hole tournament record – his 16-under-par total of 128 is also a 36-hole tournament record. Yueer Cindy Feng shot a 5-under-par 67 and has a two-shot lead in the Girls Division.
Lee’s opening 36 holes include 14 birdies, one eagle and zero bogeys. He’s 11-under-par on the front nine and has hit 25 out of 28 fairways.
“It’s pretty much the same feeling as yesterday,” Lee said. “I played really great and didn’t waste any shots out there. It’s the lowest score I’ve ever shot — competitive or just with friends — so it’s been a lot of fun.”
Lee’s round of 63 is the third-lowest in AJGA history and is tied for the lowest 18-hole score in AJGA Invitational history (James Vargas, 2001 Polo Golf Junior Classic).
Chasing Lee is Patrick Cantlay whose second-round 68 put him at 10-under-par 134. Anthony Paolucci and Michael Hebert each shot 8-under-par 64s in the second round and are in third at 9-under-par. Paolucci had eight birdies and an eagle, while Hebert made no bogeys and eight birdies.
In the Girls Division, Feng sits at 6-under-par 138 and finds herself in a familiar position. In January, Feng held a one-shot lead after the second round at the Annika Invitational. She shot a final-round 76 and finished tied for fourth at that event, but Feng said that she has learned from that experience.
“I learned that I need to stay focused on the last day,” Feng said. “I was thinking too much about my score and my mental game was a little down. Tomorrow I’ll just play my game and see what happens.”
Karen Chung shot a bogey-free 69 and is second at 4-under-par 140.
– The AJGA contributed to this report