Low-round alert: Jeongeun Lee6's 61 at Evian ties best round in major history
Jeongeun Lee6 enjoyed a historic day at the Amundi Evian Championship, birdieing her last four consecutive holes to shoot 10-under 61, tying (...)
Jeongeun Lee6 enjoyed a historic day at the Amundi Evian Championship, birdieing her last four consecutive holes to shoot 10-under 61, tying the lowest round in major championship history.
Hyo Joo Kim shot 61 in Round 1 of the 2014 Evian.
Lee6’s 15-under 127 total opened up a seven-stroke lead midway through the second round and sets a new 36-hole record for LPGA majors, besting the 129 mark set by In Gee Chun at this championship in 2016.
The 2019 U.S. Women’s Open champ chipped in on the eighth hole and came to the reachable par-5 ninth hole (her 18th) with a chance to make eagle and shoot 60. But a leaked tee shot to the right, placed her in the rough, and she was forced to lay up. Lee6 then confidently drained a 15-foot putt for birdie right in the heart to take her place in history.
“I heard Hyo Joo Kim’s score,” said Lee6, “so last I missed fairway … I tried, third shot. Yeah, I made birdie. It’s amazing.”
This chip in was her 9th of 10 birdies on the day pic.twitter.com/NjJbD0ztSG
— LPGA (@LPGA) July 23, 2021
Lee6 hit 10 fairways, 15 greens and took only 23 putts on her 10-birdie day. She said she planned to focus on her backswing and her targets the rest of the way. She had two consecutive top-10 finishes coming into this week.
David Buhai, whose wife Ashleigh plays on tour, has been caddying for Lee6 since the start of the year and felt she seemed hyper-focused during Friday’s round. Buhai said it was by far the best round he’d seen up close.
“Every putt looked like it was going to go in,” said Buhai. “It was incredible. Not one nerve. Speed was just perfect.
“I had the best seat in the house and I just kept my mouth shut.”
Japan’s Ayaka Furue shot 66-68 to get to the clubhouse at 8 under. Seven-time major winner Inbee Park carded a 64 that included a double-bogey on the first hole and holds a share of third with Thai phenom Atthaya Thitikul and American Lauren Stephenson, who both shot 69.
When Lee6 won the U.S. Women’s Open in Charleston, one of the first things she said through an interpreter at the winner’s press conference was that the next time she won a tournament she’d do the interview in English. Later that year, Lee6 delivered a beautiful and emotional speech at the Rolex Awards banquet when she earned Louise Suggs Rookie of the Year honors.
At the Evian on Friday, she was as clutch during a live Golf Channel interview with Jerry Foltz after the round as she’d been on the course. And, as Foltz pointed out, she was likely more nervous about that chat than the putt for 61.
“From a personal point of view,” said Buhai, “I mean, 6’s English from the first day I met her to now is incredible. She actually I think gets my jokes now, understands them, which helps.”
Lee6 confirmed that she and Buhai have the same sense of humor and that she continues to take English lessons from a Canadian tutor once a week.
Although LPGA players are still unable to dine out on tour, Lee said she still plans to celebrate the occasion with take-out: “I need delicious food.”