Lee edges Kim at Nine Bridges
Ki-sang Lee shot a spectacular 64 in Saturday’s third round at the CJ Invitational to edge one shot clear of Anthony Kim.
Ki-sang Lee shot a spectacular 8-under 64 in Saturday’s third round at the CJ Invitational to edge one shot clear of the USA’s overnight leader Anthony Kim.
The little-known 25-year-old South Korean native thrilled the local galleries at the Haesley Nine Bridges Golf Club in Yeoju with his explosive start in a near-flawless round that included a spectacular hole-in-one at the short 5th hole.
And if that wasn’t enough, that eagle followed four successive birdies in a sensational start for Lee that spearheaded him into the third-round lead on moving Saturday with a 15-under total of 201.
Kim started the day three shots clear of the chasing pack and his 4-under 68 and 14-under total of 202 almost kept him there only the new leader Lee edging paqst him.
In the meantime KJ Choi, Korea’s highest World-ranked golfer and host of this tournament which is co-sanctioned by the Asian and Korean Tours, posted a highly respectable 5-under 67 for a 12-under 204 that put him three shots behind the leader in lone third place heading into the weekend.
Thailand’s Prom Meesawat is on 10-under 206, level with David Oh in joint 4th place.
The 25-year-old Lee, who has one domestic Korean victory, got out of the blocks in sensational style, holing birdie putts from 12, 9, 45 and 9 feet respectively before holing out with a seven iron for his ace at the par three 186-yard fifth hole.
Inexplicably after turning in seven under, Lee suddenly couldn’t buy a putt until the 17th hole where his 6th birdie edged hikm clear of Kim
“Whenever (on the front nine) I hit the ball, it kept going into the hole. I couldn’t believe it. I was doing very well and I tried to make a new record, maybe a 10-under or something, but my iron play after the turn was not good,”said Lee
Lee said he was unperturbed by the fact that he would be playing alongside Choi, the World No 14, an Asian Tour honorary member with eight PGA Tour wins, in the final rpoiund on Sunday
“I will simply play the same way I have all week. It’s a big burden, but I’ll try to overcome the pressure. I’ve never played with KJ before so I am looking forward to it. KJ is a hero to all young golfers and professional players here in Korea. I always watch him play and listen to his interviews. Everyone looks up to him,” said Lee.
Kim, who held an overnight three-shot lead, quickly saw his advantage disappear but fought back with late birdies to stay hot on Lee’s heels.
“I thought he was playing a video game. Every time he hit a putt, it looked like it was going in and most of the time it did go in. What a great round. If he keeps it up, he’ll be tough to beat, said the 26-year-old Californian of Korean heritage
“Overall, it was a tough day. It was my worst day of the three. If I can figure it out tomorrow, I’ll be tough to beat, but I’ve got to lace up my shoes,” he added.
Choi started strongly with an outward 32 and picked up two more birdies on 12 and 13 before a lone bogey on the par three 15th hole dropped him back. But the 41-year-old is relishing a final round charge in his own tournament.
“I’m in a good position,” he said. “Everyone wants to win. Whoever can control their mind the best will win. Every day is a new day and I’m feeling very calm.”
TOP 10 LEADERBOARD]
(Korean unless stated)
201 Lee Ki-sang 70 67 64
202 Anthony Kim (USA) 68 66 68
204 KJ Choi 67 70 67
206 Prom Meesawat (Tha) 69 69 68, David Oh 68 69 69,
207 Noh Seung-yul 73 68 66, Scott Hend (Aus) 68 72 67,Han Min-kyu 71 69 67, Lee Dong-hwan 70 69 68
208 Choi Jin-ho 72 70 66, Park Eun-shin 74 68 66, Thanyakon Khrongpha (Tha) 71 68 9
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