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US Women's Open

We’ve got a showdown! Three-way tie at US Women’s Open summit

Minjee Lee, Andrea Lee, and Wichanee Meechai can’t be separated following a thrilling moving day at Lancaster Country Club. Here’s how it went down…

 

What a final round we’ve got in store. The seasoned major champion, the former prodigy, and the qualifier. Lancaster Country Club is going to see some drama on Sunday.

Let’s break down what happened on day 3 of the US Women’s Open…

What happened in the US Women’s Open third round?

It’s a three-way tie at the top of the US Women’s Open – with nothing to separate Minjee Lee, Andrea Lee, and Wichanee Meechai at -5.

Following a brutal first couple of days in the scoring stakes, this classic Pennsylvania course laid down a couple of its defences on moving day and the leaders took advantage.

Minjee Lee, already with this trophy in her cabinet following her win at Pine Needles two years ago, shot 66 – tying the low round of the week. An eagle at 7, birdies at 11, 12 and 16, and just a solitary bogey gives her a wonderful chance to win her third major title.

Meechai has spent nine years on the LPGA Tour without winning. She finished second in a Columbus qualifier to make the field this week. Birdie Kim, in 2005, was the last player to win her way into the event and then take the trophy.

But despite her nerves – Meechai admitted to shaking before round two – the Thai player showed incredible poise and resolve on the back 9.

First she birdied the 15th having looked like she might slip down the field following bogeys at 10 and 14. Then she drilled in an impressive par putt at 16 before doing the same on the last after her approach fell off the hugely sloping final green.

She’ll sleep on the lead once again but, this time, she’s got company.

US Women's Open

Andrea Lee won nine times while at college in Stanford – the most in school history. LPGA success has been slower in arriving, the Portland Classic in September 2022 her sole success so far.

But after a fast start turned into bogeys and a slew of pars, the 25-year-old found back-to-back birdies at 15 and 16 to vault to the top of the pile.

While there is the prospect of a shootout from the leading three, a notable duo can still challenge from the pack. Hinako Shibuno matched Minjee Lee’s round of 66 to trail the trio by two.

And while Yuka Saso will need to up her approach game – bogeys at 15 and at the final hole the consequence of a string of shots that went awry during day 3 – no-one in the field is close to her in the putting stakes.

She has been holing them all week from all sorts of distances and, at just three back, the 2021 US Women’s Open winner at Olympic can’t be forgotten.

Leaderboard after day three:

-5 Meechai, Andrea Lee, Minjee Lee

-3 Shibuno

-2 Saso

+1 Koiwai, Hee Im

+2 Yubol, Takeda, Hyang Lee

Minjee Lee

Who had what to say at the US Women’s Open 2024?

Minjee Lee (-5)

“It didn’t feel super simple [today], but I just tried to stick to my game plan, tried to make birdies. Obviously I wanted to have a good score on round 3, moving day. I knew there was going to be some opportunities with some of the tees up for birdies, so yeah, pretty much I just tried to take it step by step as you do as a US Open and just stayed in the moment.

“I don’t think I’m going to do too much differently [on Sunday]. I’ve played in a few last groups before. I’m sure I’ll have nerves – even that last putt on 18 I was nervous. It’s a lot of people watching, and I’m just going to try and stay in the moment. It’s always nice to be in the final group. It means you’re contending.”

Wichanee Meechai (-5)

“Because I feel so nervous and I don’t like the pressure at all, my manager told me to lockout on all of my social media. But I got a lot of texts, but I didn’t answer any one. Just called my mom, and she was hoping that I could be patient on the course. That’s it. I’m trying not to look [at] anything on my phone because it’s going to put pressure on me, so I turn off everything.”

Andrea Lee (-5)

“It’s an incredible feeling. It’s something that I’ve always dreamed of, vying for major championship wins.

“Michelle Wie West texted me last night, and she told me just whatever the outcome is, just put your 100 percent effort into it. No matter what happens it’s a privilege to be in this moment, to have this opportunity.

“I really took that to heart, and yeah, today I just tried to have fun out there and just play the golf course and not try to play against the field, just me and the golf course.”

Hinako Shibuno (-3)

“I myself got so surprised that I made seven birdies. I think that I got pretty good hit in the shots, so that I was able to be more aggressive.

“So from my position right now, I cannot think about that, however, thinking about winning the title. Yesterday I mentioned I would like to enjoy playing golf. I feel the same way. However, today I felt nausea all the way.”

US Women’s Open 2024: Stat of the day

Only one place to turn here and that is, of course, to stats guru Justin Ray. This is an absolute belter too, which should strike fear into anyone trying to get in front of Minjee Lee tomorrow.

Shots of the day

This is how you end a round! A Lim Kim won this title – her only LPGA victory in 2022 – and she brought her third round to a close in impressive fashion, with a birdie at the 17th and then holing out her approach for eagle at the last. It was quite the hit.

Who will win the US Women’s Open 2024? What has been the highlight of the US Women’s Open 2024 so far? Tell NCG on X!

Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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