ENCOURAGEMENT FROM HOME DRIVES LEE
Four birdies and one bogey today in the second round of the Valley Forge Invitational led Min Lee (Taoyuan City, Chinese Taipei) to a 3-under par 68 and the outright 36-hole advantage at 10-under par overall. The 2014 Epson Tour graduate takes a one-shot lead into the final round.
Late in 2018, Lee captured victories at both the CLPGA Women’s China Open and TLPGA Taiwan Mobile Ladies Open. Although a different experience than winning in the United States, she pointed out how it helped prepare her for this moment and what still makes a victory on American soil special.
“My family is there and at both places I won they speak Mandarin, so it really felt like home,” said Lee. “Everybody is very supportive and I don’t feel alone. Here it is very lonely because you are by yourself playing in a tournament. You don’t know the people, especially when you first come here. It trains you to be tougher and this is a great stage to prepare for the LPGA. I think this level is great.”
When she heads onto the course at Raven’s Claw Golf Club tomorrow at 9:31 a.m. ET in the final grouping off No. 1 tee, Lee will be chasing a second career Epson Tour title. The last time she raised some hardware on the “Road to the LPGA” was at the 2014 Garden City Charity Classic.
“To win at home, it is definitely for my family and we can all celebrate together at that time,” Lee said. “Winning on the Epson Tour is also good for me because I’m telling the people at home that I did it. Everybody is looking at you, they are watching you and posting about you on Facebook. When I am reading posts there, it gives me good vibes that people are supporting me far away from here.”
COLEMAN CONTINUES STRONG PLAY AT RAVEN’S CLAW
The round of the day belonged to University of Colorado alumna Jenny Coleman (Rolling Hills Estates, California), who fired a 7-under par 64 to climb from tied for 26th to one shot off the lead and tied for second.
Momentum at the Valley Forge Invitational for Coleman has been rolling along ever since the inaugural tournament when she went 67-66-69 to finish 11-under par overall and tied for fourth. Coleman now looks to capitalize on her position and history at Raven’s Claw Golf Club with a big ending tomorrow.
“It’s a good course, need to have strong ball striking because you know people are going to make some birdies,” said Coleman. “Kind of like the greens and glad to get out of the south, putt on some bent greens like I grew up on. Do the same thing, keep to my gameplan because it is going well. It makes me more comfortable, to know I can play well on this course. Something about it here.”
HOT START LEADS RUNAS INTO FINAL GROUPING
Coming out of the gates on fire for moving day at the Valley Forge Invitational, Demi Runas (Torrance, California) went out in 7-under par 29 fashion and held the solo lead of 10-under par overall when she made the turn.
Eventually the UC Davis graduate cooled down, but still managed to put herself in a great spot with 18 holes remaining. She’ll join Lee and Coleman in the final grouping tomorrow, and enters as one of four players trailing by one shot.
“The front nine has been historically very good to me, I can’t complain,” said Runas, who finished tied for fourth at this event last year. “Honestly, I had no idea what was going on. I was just like, ‘Hit, follow golf ball and repeat.’ The back nine is definitely the tougher nine. I gave myself some opportunities and left them out, so hoping to pick them up tomorrow.”
Krystal Quihuis (-9, T2) on a bogey-free second round and gameplan for tomorrow:
“It feels really good, just a lot of excitement. I’ll start off even tomorrow, all square like it’s round one again. I will go out there and see how many birdies I can get because that’s what I have been focusing on. I want to collect birdies in this basket and see how many I can collect.”
Esther Lee (-9, T2) on what she needs to do to keep herself in contention during the final round:
“I’ve been hitting the ball pretty well this week, putting well and my short game has been good. That is all you need to have to win a tournament. Don’t force it, just let good golf come to me. No leaderboard watching because I want to focus on my game, not how everyone else is doing and comparing myself to the field. It can be a distraction for me.”
Perrine Delacour (-8, 6th) on how she stacks up her chances and momentum found to end the day:
“There’s still one round of golf, so plenty left and I’m in a good spot for tomorrow. I’m going to keep doing what I have been, except the double bogey on No. 13. Game feels pretty good and finished from No. 14 to 17 with two birdies and two pars. I’m very about how ending like that.”
- Lee, 23, is a native of Taoyuan City, Chinese Taipei
- Two-time winner on the China Amateur Golf Tour in 2012
- 2014 Epson Tour graduate and Gaelle Truett Rookie of the Year
- Competed in 18 events on “Road to the LPGA” in 2014 and played the weekend 16 times
- Recorded eight top-10 finishes that season including a win at the Garden City Charity Classic
- Total of 83 starts on the LPGA Tour since rookie year in 2015 with career-best T12 at 2015 U.S. Women’s Open
- Captured victories at both the 2018 CLPGA Women’s China Open and 2018 TLPGA Taiwan Mobile Ladies Open