Minjee Lee takes a one-stroke lead in the final round of the Founders Cup

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CLIFTON, NJ (TSWT) — Minjee Lee eagle-birdied on the back nine and took a one-stroke lead over Madelene Sagstrom on Saturday, heading into the final round of the Cognizant Founders Cup.

Lee, the LPGA Tour’s top scorer this year, shot 3-under 69 on a day the Upper Montclair Country Club showed some teeth with the wind picking up early and rain pouring down on the leaders for the last 11 holes.

The 25-year-old Australian, who had a three-stroke lead at the halfway point, was 17-under 199 after 54 holes. She is aiming for her first victory of the year and her seventh on tour.

Sagstrom, the Swede who had the lead in the first round after a 63, had the best third round with a 67. The 29-year-old is aiming for her second win.

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Lexi Thompson started the round tied with Sagstrom at 11 under and was only third, three strokes behind after a 69. She might have been closer to her first victory since 2019, but she narrowly missed at least five or six putts.

Well, that was probably more of a problem than trying to get my putts to the hole. I left a few courts right in the middle. It was difficult because the greens were so fast. They still are and they ride so pure.

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But just with a bit of moisture on them they are definitely a bit slower, but in the greens they slide a bit more so you have to find that balance.

“The weather was a big factor, it was quite wet on the greens,” said Sagstrom, who briefly tied the lead with a birdie at the par-5 12th as Lee bogged the No. 11 after an errant tee shot.

Lee followed with the eagle and the birdie on putts ranging from 15 to 18 feet and never lost his lead.

Angel Yin shot a 68 and moved up to fourth at 11 under.

Ally Ewing, who was tied for second after two rounds, never did anything posting a 74. She was tied for fifth at 9 under with South Africa’s Paula Reto and Megan Khang.

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Japan’s Nasa Hataoka, who won in Los Angeles last month, was in a group nine shots off the lead. Jennifer Kupcho, the winner at Mission Hills in the first major tournament of the season, also had 8 under.

Jin Young Ko of South Korea, a two-time defending champion and ranked No. 1, was a distant second at 5 under.

Anna Davis, the 16-year-old left who won the recent Augusta National Women’s Amateur, stayed at 4 under after shooting par.

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