LPGA top rookie prize winner pleased with swing change

SEOUL, – Since bursting onto the LPGA scene in 2019 by capturing a prestigious major title, South Korean player Lee Jeong-eun hasn’t been able to add to her win total.

Hoping to end that drought, Lee, the 2019 U.S. Women’s Open champion and LPGA Rookie of the Year winner, decided to undergo a swing change this year. And after climbing the leaderboard at the BMW Ladies Championship, the lone LPGA event in South Korea, on Friday, Lee said she is happy with the progress she has made with the new swing.

In windy and chilly conditions at Seowon Hills at Seowon Valley Country Club in Paju, northwest of Seoul, Lee shot her second straight round of four-under 68. At eight-under overall, Lee is three strokes behind the leader, Minjee Lee of Australia.

“Earlier in the year, I wasn’t very comfortable with my new swing, and I wasn’t consistent with my ball-striking,” Lee said at her press conference. “But I started feeling more comfortable about a couple of months ago. My body is getting more used to the new swing, and I think it’s beginning to show on the course.”

Those 68s came in much different contexts. On Thursday, Lee was one of eight players to shoot that score, and 25 players in total broke 70. In the second round, though, Lee and only seven others broke 70, as players struggled in swirling winds in the mountains.

Lee said she had trouble with the rotation of her right shoulder on the backswing and with the timing of her weight shift on the downswing.

“The key to my new swing is to make sure I don’t get ahead of myself on the downswing,” Lee said. “With my right shoulder, I am trying not to get it up too high on the backswing.”

Lee’s only blemish of the second round came on the par-4 18th, when she pushed her tee shot to the cart path and wound up with her lone bogey of the day.

“The fairway is sloped from right to left, and so I aimed right and tried to get the ball roll back toward the center,” Lee said. “I didn’t get the timing down. I ended up with a bogey after getting into a greenside bunker, but overall, I made solid shots.”

As for her prospects over the next two rounds, Lee said she will try to minimize her mistakes.

“The bogey on the last hole was a letdown, but we still have two more rounds of golf left,” Lee said. “And I know why I made the mistakes that I made. I want to avoid big numbers and play some steady golf.”

Source: Yonhap News Agency