IK Kim. Photo Credit: USA Today Sports/Carlos Osorio/AP

Another Shakeup at the Ladies European Masters

IK Kim matched the women’s professional course record at Buckinghamshire Golf Club when she carded a spectacular, bogey-free 63 Saturday at the ISPS Handa Ladies European Masters.   Kim goes into Sunday’s final round fourteen strokes under par and leading her closest challenger, Australian amateur Minjee Lee, by four strokes with fellow Australian Sarah Kemp and Amelia Lewis of the United States a stroke further behind in a tie for third.

Better known as a member of the LPGA Tour since 2007, world ranked number 24 Kim’s LET credits include a win at the 2009 Dubai Ladies Masters and in 2010 three top-10 LET finishes and Rookie of the Year honors.  A win tomorrow for Kim at Buckinghamshire would go a long way toward healing the scar left by a missed putt at the 2012 Kraft Nabisco Championship that Hall of Famer Judy Rankin described as “heartbreaking” and that cost Kim her fist major victory.

Satuday Weather Was Perfect For Golf

Playing in soft conditions resulting from overnight rain, there were few mistakes among the leaders of Saturday’s round.

The greens were a little bit softer and I think that helped a bit too, scoring wise – IK Kim

Mingee Lee, protégé of the defending champion Karrie Webb,  agreed.  Lee had five birdies on her bogey-free card and shot 67:

The greens were really soft and I could get to the front pins so that helped for everyone. It only rained for one hole for me and the weather was perfect for golf.

Rolex ranked 194th, Amelia Lewis, also bogey-free and with four birdies on her score card, also felt the conditions were helpful to her game:

I was very consistent and only missed one green, which was why I played so well. I had a lot of birdie opportunities and my caddie kept me in a good mood.

Other Tournament Notes

Germany’s Caroline Masson and Australian Nikki Campbell share fifth place on eight-under-par, with Sarah-Jane Smith, Stacey Lee Bregman, Sally Watson and Lee-Anne Pace a stroke further behind.

English teen star Charley Hull, who disclosed that if she wasn’t a golfer she would like to be a spy, fired a 68 to sit at four-under-par going into the final round, but still felt capable of making a charge on Sunday.

The defending champion Karrie Webb is playing a middling game at Buckinghamshire.  Webb three-putted the final hole for a 70, which left her 11 strokes off the lead.

Northern Ireland’s Stephanie Meadow, who splashed onto the pro golf scene at the US Women’s Open last month in her professional debut, is going into Sunday just below Webb at two strokes under par and American Cheyenne Woods will start Sunday at even par.

The final round gets underway at 9.15am on Sunday, with the leading trio out last at 2.05pm local time.  The weather will again be ideal, with temperatures in the low 70s, light wind, and no rain in the forecast.  You can follow Sunday’s round on the LET live leaderboard and ProGolfNow will provide a wrap-up later in the evening.

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  • a0199755

    The final round (as was the 3rd round) will be streamed live via Youtube. It’s blocked in the US but, I can view it freely via some of the live sports streaming sites, e.g. hahasport dot com. IK is one of my sleeper picks for the Ricoh British Open. There are at least 6 Americans who can win it (including Angela Stanford) but I can never count out the South Koreans. It may sound strange but my advise to Wie is to pound her driver. So what if it gets into the deep bunkers, just hit it out sideways and make PAR. If she drives the green or hit (high) short irons into them tight, she will win.

    LET needs buzz. Even though they are heavily promoting their current “it” girl Charley Hull, and they have very competent, proven (older) players, the biggest attraction, if I may, is an 6-1 American. Besides Stephanie Meadow, there are a couple of young European players that deserve attention, Amy Boulden and an French amateur, Mathilda Cappeliez.

    • Elizabeth Bethel

      Thanks for that tip on accessing the YouTube live streaming. And you’re absolutely correct: Michelle Wie is electrifying — her game, her poise, her sense of presence are combining into that elusive star quality that we haven’t seen in women’s golf for some time. It will be interesting to see what strategy she uses at the Women’s British Open. And it will also be interesting to see how the current crop of youngsters cope with the pressure cooker of the RICOH and then The Evian.

      • a0199755

        Elizabeth, I apologize for speaking too early. The hahasport link is also blocked. More often than not, the host(s) are from Europe or some country that I can view the content. Just not this one.

        Meadow is -8 thru 16. How do you like ‘em apples? She is very “Americanized” and wants to live here I think. Well, she is a force. IK is showing the LET players, if they want to compete at the highest level, they need to test themselves more on the LPGA.

        • Elizabeth Bethel

          Meadow’s coming right along, but Kim seems to have this one in the bag and Minjee Lee’s just getting warmed up for the Open. Doesn’t Meadow play a qualifier tomorrow?

          • a0199755

            Yeah, Meadow is in the Monday qualifier. The wonderful Ann Cain posted 2 pages of the 84 entries. Her Twitter handle is @ANNCAIN_.