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Evian Championship 2021: Jeongeun Lee6 Takes 5-Shot Lead into Final Round

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJuly 24, 2021

PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP via Getty Images

South Korea's Jeongeun Lee6 will carry a five-shot lead into the final round of the 2021 Evian Championship after shooting a three-under 68 on Saturday at Evian Resort Golf Club in France.

Lee6, who took firm control of the tournament with a spectacular 61 on Friday, sits at 18 under as she seeks her second major championship. She previously captured the 2019 U.S. Women's Open during her LPGA Rookie of the Year season.

Yealimi Noh (-13) represents her closest competition, while two-time major champion Lydia Ko (-12) holds third place after Saturday's third round.

Lee6 couldn't match her unblemished card from the second round as she recorded three bogeys Saturday, but she still finished in red numbers thanks to an eagle and four birdies.

The eagle came on the par-four 11th, as she found the cup from the fairway thanks to some perfect spin:

LPGA @LPGA

THE MAGIC TOUCH ✨ <br><br>Jeongeun Lee6 holes out for eagle at the <a href="https://twitter.com/EvianChamp?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@EvianChamp</a> to extend the lead to 5 👏 <a href="https://t.co/hNJU7MXlv7">pic.twitter.com/hNJU7MXlv7</a>

It marked the first eagle of the tournament for the 25-year-old South Korean, who's also recorded 21 birdies, meaning she's birdied 38.9 percent of the 54 holes she's played.

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Noh, who held a share of the lead after the first round, finished with a flurry Saturday as she posted birdies on each of the final three holes to earn a berth in the final group.

LPGA @LPGA

Update: <a href="https://twitter.com/YealimiNoh?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@YealimiNoh</a> finished at -13 after her third birdie in a row.<br><br>She finished in solo second. 😳 <a href="https://t.co/bftceXUcK4">pic.twitter.com/bftceXUcK4</a>

The 19-year-old American is targeting her first career win after finishing third at the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational in her last start, which was her best result of the season.

Ko, the 2015 Evian champion, is no stranger to coming from behind to win a major. She was two shots behind in this event after the third round six years ago and trailed by one shot in the 2016 ANA Inspiration before final-round comebacks.

Coming back from six down will likely require some mistakes from Lee6, though.

Minjee Lee, Brittany Altomare and Maria Fassi tied for Saturday's best round at six-under 65.

Sunday's final round begins just before 7 a.m. in France (1 a.m. ET in the U.S.). The leaders will tee off at 11:50 a.m. (5:50 a.m. ET U.S.) with coverage on Golf Channel and CNBC.

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