Saturday, July 26, 2014

Lee leads by 1 shot at Asia-Pacific Amateur

October 26. 2013 6:36AM
Associated Press

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(AP) Lee Chang-woo of South Korea is one round away from playing in the Masters.

Lee pieced together a 2-under 69 on Saturday at Nanshan International Golf Club to take a one-shot lead over Dou Zecheng of China and Shohei Hasegawa of Japan going into the final round of the Asia-Pacific Amateur.

The winner gets an invitation to the Masters in April, along with a spot in the final stage of qualifying for the British Open.

The top 10 players from six countries were separated by seven shots going into Sunday. Among them was 15-year-old Guan Tianlang of China, the defending champion who had a 68 and was just five shots behind in his quest to return to Augusta National. Earlier this year, Guan made the cut at the Masters.

Lee was at 2-under 211 as only two players remained under par. The conditions have been harsh this week, with cold and wind, though they relented slightly on Saturday and allowed for some better scoring.

Last week, Lee joined two-time major champion Rory McIlroy in a tie for second in the Korea Open. He would love to join McIlroy next April at Augusta.

"I'm trying not to feel too much pressure because all my shots are going pretty well at the moment," Lee said. "Tomorrow I'm just going to try and repeat my performance over the first three rounds."

Dou also has the Masters on his mind. The 16-year-old from China had two birdies on the last four holes for a 69 that put him in the final group Sunday.

"After I made the two birdies, there were a few nerves," Dou said. "I was thinking about tomorrow and going to Augusta. I'll try and not to do that in the final round."

The biggest move came from Guan, who opened with two 74s. In more pleasant conditions, he ran off five birdies on the front nine to at least give himself a chance on Sunday. He was five shots behind, along with U.S. Amateur runner-up Oliver Goss of Australia, who had a 71.

Associated Press

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