Junior PGA championships heads into the final round


Redwood Shores resident Lucy Li remained in a tie for fourth place following three rounds of the Junior PGA Championships at Kearney Hill Golf Links in Lexington, KY on Wednesday.

Stanford commit Brooke Seay, of San Diego, moved up a notch into 21st after her third straight round of 1-under.

Li has a three-day total of 204 while Seay is at 213. Concord resident Yealimi Noh, who has committed to UCLA, owns a seven-stroke lead (195) over defending champion Rose Zhang, of Irvine.

Noh, who has fired rounds of 66-65-64, set the championship record for low score after three rounds. Her third-round score is another championship record for lowest score in the third round.

“It felt really good to get started with three straight birdies,” said Noh. “It gave me a lot of confidence throughout the round. My putting has been great this week. I got a new putter a couple weeks ago, and this is the first national tournament I’ve used it in. I’m really glad it’s working well.”

Noh has feasted on Kearney Hill’s par 5s. Through three rounds, she has converted 11 birdies with just one par, which occurred during the first round on the 7th hole.

“The par 5s have been really important because I try to go for eagle each time, but I’ll take the birdie,” said Noh, who has 21 birdies and zero bogeys this week. “I’ve been focusing really well, and I’m still having fun on the course. I played with both my friends today (Alexa Melton and Erica Shepherd), so it was fun out there.”

Thursday’s final round will have more than a national championship on the line: the winner and the runner-up, provided they are U.S. citizens and in the class of 2019 or younger, will earn spots onto the 2018 U.S. Junior Ryder Cup Team. The 11th Junior Ryder Cup will be staged September 24-25 at Disneyland Paris.

Li and Stanford commit Rachel Heck, who quit the junior championships following a first round 3-under 69, are also in contention for spots on the junior Ryder Cup team.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/PGA of America

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