Three tied at the top at the New Zealand Strokeplay

NZ Strokeplay Jang Hyun Lee
Jang Hyun Lee (BW Media // Glenn Taylor)

Plenty of movement on the leaderboard see’s three players tied at the top at the New Zealand Me’s Strokeplay after moving day at Hastings Golf Club.

Jang Hyun Lee, Kazuma Kobori, and overnight leader Jared Edwards are all tied at 11-under for the tournament, three ahead of the next challenger in equal course record holder, Charlie Smail.

Lee was the biggest mover in round three, firing an incredible round of 65 to catapult himself into contention. After a lacklustre opening nine to be at four-under for the tournament, Lee caught fire in the back nine making seven birdies to come home in 29.

He said it was a bizarre round of golf.

“The back nine was just crazy. I made seven birdies in nine holes and to shoot 65, wow,” he said.

Lee says he’s not sure what clicked, but knows he’s going to need to do something similar tomorrow.

“Both players are going to be hard to beat tomorrow. I’ve played a lot with Jared and Kazuma hits it very straight, so I’m going to need to keep the momentum going into tomorrow to win this tournament,” Lee said.

A win tomorrow will tick a box for Lee tomorrow, and he’s excited at the doors it might open if he could get it done.

“It would be amazing. It was one of my goals at the start of the year and hopefully, that would mean I get to play in next years New Zealand Open, but we will see what happens,” he explains.

Lee will be up against Kobori who has been in contention at this very event this time last year. He won the NZPGA Championship in 2019 as well and knows what it takes to compete at the highest level.

He didn’t get to achieve his goal of being bogeyless this week at Hastings Golf Club, but still has an opportunity to achieve another goal of his should he keep them off his scorecard tomorrow.

“I made a bogey today, so I was a little disappointed with myself, but I’m still tied for the lead and I’m really looking forward to making less bogey’s tomorrow,” Kobori said.

He made just the one blemish today on the 16th on route to a five-under 67 to join Lee and playing partner Edwards at the top of the leaderboard. He hasn’t had a win since his victory at the NZPGA Championship and is hoping he can get over the line again tomorrow.

“I really want to end the drought. What I’ve been doing so far this week has been working, I just need to keep the emotions in check and hopefully it’ll be enough,” he said.

His playing partner Edwards will be looking to have his say in tomorrow’s playing partners plans. The overnight leader was far from his best today but managed to scramble his way to a four-under 68.

He said his plan of enjoying golf like he did when he was 12 years old is paying dividends.

“It was a real a battle out there early on. I couldn’t seem to hit a hit a fairway or a green on the front nine but managed to make four birdies on the back to save myself a bit which was quite nice.

“Tomorrow is just another round of golf. That has been my attitude all week so I’ll do the same thing tomorrow,” Edwards said.

Jared Edwards BW Media // Glenn Taylor
Jared Edwards (BW Media // Glenn Taylor)

Meanwhile, 13-year-old Korean golf team member Jeong Hyun Lee holds a commanding four-shot lead at the top of the table after round three at the New Zealand Women’s Strokeplay at Hastings Golf Club.

She carded another consistent round of four-under-par to get to 10-under for the tournament to lead defending champion Carmen Lim and Darae Chung who are at six-under par.

She turned up this week after a good performance at last week’s Super 6’s event in Manawatu in some good form and wants to finish the week with a victory.

Lee said the secret to achieving her goal is to keep her composure.

“I’m going to remain really calm tomorrow. I’m just going to focus on my own game and stay patient. I’m not going to be greedy and I’m going to play with the same game plan as I did today,” she explained.

Lee got off to a good start with a birdie at the first followed by another at the par 3 fourth. She made two more at the seventh and the ninth but made bogeys on the fifth and eighth holes to make the turn in two-under par.

She picked up two more birdies late in her back nine at the 16th and 17th and said remaining steady was the key to her round today.

“I’m really happy with how I played. I made some really good birdie putts and some nice par saves which held my round together. I’m looking forward to tomorrow,” Lee said.

Defending champion Carmen Lim made a charge the leaderboard, carding four-under to keep her in the fight.

She finished in a flurry with an eagle on the 17th before rolling in a long birdie putt at 18.

“It was a really good day today. I was three-under through nine, but I started to make a couple of bogeys on the back after the wind got up a little bit.

“I actually got stung by a bee on the 17th tee and then made eagle holing a 30-metre pitch shot and birdie the last.

“It was really cool having my coach [Sam Parsons] on the bag today too,” she said.

Lim is aware that she is the defending champion but is not something she’s been letting herself think about this week and is looking forward to the challenge.

She’ll be paired with the leader Lee and Chung who is also on six-under.

Men’s scores after round 3

205 Jang Hyun Lee (Titirangi) 71 69 65, Kazuma Kobori (Rangiora) 69 69 67, Jared Edwards (Royal Auckland and Grange) 69 68 68

208 Charlie Smail (Walton) 75 63 70

210 Mako Thompson (Maraenui) 71 71 68, James Hydes (Gulf Harbour Country Club) 70 71 69

211 Reid Hilton (Russley) 73 69 69, Samuel Jones (Manaia) 68 73 70

213 Jayden Ford (Judgeford) 72 72 69

214 Stephen Liu (Pakuranga) 72 71 71

215 Zachary May (Russley) 69 76 70, Kerry Mountcastle (Masterton) 71 72 72

216 William Howard (P, Cook Islands) 74 74 68, Mitchell Kale (Tauranga) 74 74 68, William Newman (Rotorua) 76 70 70

218 Jaeseung Na (Pakuranga) 73 76 69, Jordan Woodall (Cambridge) 73 73 72, Joshua Bai (Akarana) 71 71 76, Daniel Freeman (Remuera) 70 70 78

219 Jonathan Cane (Royal Wellington) 72 75 72

220 Brad Rowland (Miramar) 75 72 73

221 Kit Bittle (Gulf Harbour Country Club) 81 70 70, Jesper Bengtsson (North Shore) 77 72 72, Robby Turnbull (Remuera) 71 73 77

222 Callum Judkins (Otago) 74 78 70, James Tauariki (Futures Geyserland) 76 74 72

223 Kevin Koong (Muriwai) 72 79 72, Liam Finlayson (Feilding) 75 72 76, Ben Slaven (Walton) 70 75 78

224 Matt Matheson (Maraenui) 74 79 71, Tae Min Kim (Gulf Harbour Country Club) 75 72 77, Zack Swanwick (Napier Inc.) 75 71 78

225 Adam Winter (Maraenui) 77 74 74, Kameran Clarke (Nelson Inc.) 82 69 74, Owen Lloyd (P, Te Marua) 76 73 76, Nick Ludbrook (Greenacres) 76 73 76, Sam Marsters (Miramar) 73 74 78, Paxton Jones (Royal Wellington) 72 74 79, Johnny Tynan (Titirangi) 73 73 79

226 Jonathan Blair (Walton) 76 77 73

227 Steven Oh (Remuera) 74 74 79

228 David Kim (Akarana) 75 77 76, Harry Ward (Paraparaumu Beach) 77 73 78

229 Matthew McLean (Harewood) 76 76 77, Jordan Burgess (Boulcott’s Farm Heritage) 79 72 78

230 Kahu Tataurangi (Remuera) 73 84 73, Joshua Morris (Taupo) 77 78 75, Sebastian Kettle (Napier Inc.) 75 75 80

231 Hayden Robertson (Taieri Lakes) 76 79 76, Thomas Woods (Miramar) 73 78 80

232 Will O’Connor (Royal Wellington) 78 79 75, Sungwoo Han (Queenstown) 73 84 75, James Fellows-Ford (Hamilton – St Andrews) 79 73 80, Ross Allott (Waitemata) 79 71 82

233 Giles La Ville (North Shore) 76 78 79

235 Lio Vui (Apiti) 77 80 78, Dylan Bagley (Hastings) 78 76 81

236 Liam McFarlane (Omanu) 82 73 81, Ian Blount (P, North Shore) 78 77 81

239 James Watkins (Royal Wellington) 70 86 83, Andrew Drummond (Shandon) 82 72 85

244 Joshua Robinson (Reporoa) 77 80 87

Women’s scores after round 3

206 Jeong Hyun Lee (P, South Korea) 67 71 68

210 Darae Chung (Shandon) 71 71 68, Carmen Lim (Windross Farm Golf Course) 69 73 68, Fiona Xu (Titirangi) 68 71 71

215 Caryn Khoo (P, Whitford Park) 70 73 72

218 Eunseo Choi (Takapuna) 75 73 70

219 Caitlin Maurice (Omokoroa) 69 78 72

220 Marina Ito (Mt Maunganui) 73 74 73

221 Vivian Lu (Royal Auckland and Grange) 76 72 73

222 Tara Raj (Wanganui) 74 76 72

223 Danika Lee (Takapuna) 76 71 76

224 Zhuo Yi Hu (Palmerston North) 75 75 74, Sieun Ha (North Shore) 76 74 74, Yeonsoo Son (North Shore) 76 71 77, Jessica Huang (Pakuranga) 73 73 78

226 Rianne Li (Akarana) 73 73 80

227 Misong Jang (North Shore) 78 73 76

228 Amy Im (Pupuke) 78 75 75, Mimi Guo (Royal Auckland and Grange) 75 77 76

230 Tessa Jane McDonald (Poverty Bay) 81 74 75

231 Aileen Du (Remuera) 80 80 71

233 Maddie May (Russley) 79 73 81, Katherine Cao (Whitford Park) 76 76 81

234 Kelly Wu (Remuera) 83 74 77

235 Erika Cui (Boulcott’s Farm Heritage) 80 80 75, Lizzie Neale (Nelson Inc.) 81 77 77

237 Mia Scrimgeour (Boulcott’s Farm Heritage) 81 75 81

238 Jessica Green (Wainui) 77 82 79

241 Grace Zhan (Maungakiekie) 82 80 79

242 Faith Vui (Apiti) 81 81 80

244 Mia Collins (Windross Farm Golf Course) 86 80 78

255 Keara Harrison (Titirangi) 84 86 85

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