Minjee Lee at 2023 Founders Cup
Minjee Lee sits in first place after three days of competition at the Founders Cup. (Photo by Christopher Shannon - JSN)

Defending Champ Seizes Lead on Third Day at Founders Cup

Clifton, N.J. - With a bogey on the first hole, Minjee Lee started her afternoon at the Upper Montclair Country Club rather ominously.  However, a quick recovery with a birdie on hole two would put Lee back on course for the remainder of her round and would put the defending champion back on top of the leaderboard after the third day of the Cognizant Founders Cup.

After her birdie on number two, Lee had no more bogies and rattled off three more birdies and one eagle to finish her afternoon with a 5-under 67 for the round and 12-under-par for the tournament.

"Yeah, I think I was pretty solid all day," Lee said of her third round performance.  "Made a lot of birdies on the front nine and then one eagle on the back and just kind of made pars coming in."

Behind Lee, Angel Lin and Hae Ran Ryu went into the clubhouse tied for second at 9-under-par for the tournament.

Lin shot a 4-under 68 for the day.  She started her afternoon in similar fashion to Lee.  After bogeying hole two, Lin corrected course by shooting consecutive birdies on holes three and four as part of a four birdie day.

"I think this course really tests you to be patient, play your shots," Lin said of her play over the course of the tournament so far.  "I had a four bogeys in the first day and then I think two or three yesterday and then one today, and they're not huge mistakes, but if you just are not 100 percent there, then it just -- it bites you in the back real quick.  The birdies are not easy, either."

Ryu, an LPGA Tour rookie, had a more up-and-down day.  She bogeyed holes three, nine, 15 and 17, but birdied two, six, seven, 11, 12 and 14 to finish the afternoon with a 2-under 70.

Also in the hunt going into Sunday are Aditi Ashok, Ashleigh Buhai, and Jin Young Ko.  They sit in a tie for fourth at -8.

The Founders Cup wraps up Sunday with the first golfer teeing off at 9:35 a.m. and will be broadcast live on television on NBC GOLF Channel from 5-7 p.m., and on Peacock, or the NBC Sports App, from 4-7 p.m.  Fans who will be in attendance at Upper Montclair Country Club are also encouraged to wear pink in celebration of Mother's Day.

Christopher Shannon