DALY CITY, Calif. — Min Lee made a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th for a 4-under 68 and two-stroke lead Saturday in the LPGA Mediheal Championship.
Lee also birdied the par-5 15th and par-3 17th to pull away from former Stanford player Lauren Kim and Finland’s Matilda Castren.
The 26-year-old Lee, from Taiwan, is trying to win for the first time on the LPGA Tour. She had a 9-under 207 total at Lake Merced in the tour’s second straight event on the San Francisco Peninsula. Lee failed to qualify for the U.S. Women’s Open last week at nearby Olympic Club.
Castren shot a 69, and Kim had a 71.
Switzerland’s Albane Valenzuela, another former Stanford player, had a 68 to join 2000 U.S. Women’s Open champion A Lim Kim (69) at 6 under.
Second-round leader Danielle Kang closed with a double bogey for a 74 that left her at 5 under with Lindsey Weaver (69), Jenny Shin (70), Jennifer Kupcho (70) and Jenny Coleman (71).
Lydia Ko (70) was 4 under with ANA Inspiration winner Patty Tavatanakit (71), 18-year-old Bay Area player Lucy Li (70), Ashleigh Buhai (70) and Yealimi Noh (71).
Lexi Thompson had a 70 to get to 3 under. Last Sunday at Olympic, she blew a five-stroke lead, playing the final seven holes in 5 over to finish a stroke out of a playoff that Yuka Saso won. Saso and Women’s Open playoff loser Nasa Hataoka skipped the event at Lake Merced.
Michelle Wie West, playing the weekend for the first time in five events this year, shot a season-beat 69 to get to 1 under. She opened with rounds of 73 and 75 to make the cut on the number.