Kroger Queen City Championship presented by P&G
Kenwood Country Club (Kendale Course) | Cincinnati, Ohio | Sept. 8-11, 2022
Sept. 9, 2022
Course Setup: 36-36—72; 6,292 yards (Scoring Average: R1: 71.807, R2: 71.223)
Weather: Mostly sunny skies with temperatures topping out in the mid-80s and SE winds from 6-14 mph
MAJOR CHAMPION JEONGEUN LEE6 LEAPFROGS LIN, HOLDS 36-HOLE LEAD IN CINCY
Eighteen-hole leader Xiyu Lin couldn’t believe the round her playing partner Jeongeun Lee6 put together on Friday at the Kroger Queen Championship presented by P&G. Lee6 fired a bogey-free, 9-under 63, highlighted by four consecutive birdies she carded from holes 7-10, and tied her second-lowest career round on the LPGA Tour, which she last shot at the 2021 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. She holds the 36-hole lead for just the third time in her career – Lee6 last did so at the 2021 Amundi Evian Championship – and her two-day total of 131 is now her second-best on the LPGA Tour, just four behind her record of 127 that also came at last year’s Amundi Evian.
“It was good bogey-free round, and it’s been a while I played bogey-free so I’m really satisfied with my game today,” said the 2019 U.S. Women’s Open presented by ProMedica winner. “Two more rounds, so I’m going to focus on my swing. I’m not comfortable with my swing, but it’s getting better. And then last tournament in the final round my shots were good so I gained confidence last week and I can play comfortable this week.”
Lee6 has had three top-10 finishes earlier this season that all came in three consecutive starts – a tie for ninth at the LPGA Drive On Championship at Crown Colony, a tie for fourth at the HSBC Women’s World Championship and a tie for eighth at the Honda LPGA Thailand – but hasn’t found herself in the top 10 since March. But as she looks ahead to the weekend, Lee6 is committed to sticking to the process, focusing specifically on her downswing. “I’m going to focus on downswing, same as today,” she said. “And then just I want to focus on my process, not result. That’s very important for me.”
Playing with Lee6, 18-hole leader Lin backed up her opening 64 with a bogey-free, 4-under 68 to sit one back of the lead at -12. She hit 13 of 14 fairways for the second straight day along with 15 of 18 greens, and her two-day total of 132 is now her second-lowest on the LPGA Tour. Lin has had two top-five finishes and one additional top 10 throughout the 2022 season, and with another weekend in contention on tap, she’s looking to just keep firing low numbers, especially with the scorable conditions that many players are taking advantage of.
“The golf tournament doesn’t finish in one day so I told myself I have to keep going today,” said Lin. “This course, everybody has a chance and it is what it is. Perfect example today, Lee6, she just had a fabulous day and shot 9-under. There is challenging holes, but also there is lots of opportunity out there. You just have to look forward and keep going.”
Two-time LPGA Tour winner Ally Ewing sits in solo third after firing an 8-under 64 in round two. Ewing turned in 34 and then stepped on the gas pedal on her back nine, the front nine at the Kendale Course, making six consecutive birdies from No. 2-7, a streak that propelled her up the leaderboard and into the mix ahead of the weekend.
“On hole 2 I hit a wedge shot fat and then I chipped in for birdie. It was going from needing to get a ball up and down for par to an unlikely birdie. Then I executed some really good shots coming in. I hit some close, made a couple of putts around 20 feet that kind of kept the string going,” said Ewing. “It was just one of those where they just kept coming and it’s kind of the patience game. I’m excited to see a low score. I don’t think I’ve had one of those in a hot minute, so good to see.”
Mexico’s Maria Fassi and Australia’s Sarah Kemp sit in a tie for fourth at -10 with a logjam of players rounding out the top 10 in a tie for sixth at -9, including last week’s runner-up Megan Khang, 2020 U.S. Women’s Open presented by ProMedica winner A Lim Kim and six-time LPGA Tour winner Nasa Hataoka. A total of 76 players made the cut at -1, most notably Augusta National Women’s Amateur champion Anna Davis (a) who shot a Friday 66, her lowest round ever on the LPGA, and #LPGAMoms Azahara Munoz and Paula Creamer, who are both making just their second start back since giving birth.
MARIA FASSI IN THE FAST LANE AHEAD OF THE WEEKEND IN CINCINNATI
Hot off the heels of Mexico’s Gaby Lopez who rallied late on Sunday for her third-career victory on Tour at the Dana Open presented by Marathon, her fellow countrywoman and Arkansas grad Maria Fassi is fighting to break through for the first time at the Kroger Queen City Championship presented by P&G. Fassi recorded her second day in the 60s – a bogey-free, 6-under 66 – to sit in a tie for fourth at -10 overall. The 66 is her best 18-hole score this season and her two-day total of 134 is her lowest 36-hole score since a 132 at the 2021 Pelican Women’s Championship, her career-best. Fassi carded six birdies, including five in her last six holes, with four straight coming on Nos. 13-16.
“I just kept giving myself chances. I was below the hole so you can be a little more aggressive on the greens,” said Fassi. “I think after the first two birdies, you just see the cup a little bit bigger and I took advantage of that.”
Fassi says her famous distance off the tee is an advantage around Kenwood Country Club’s Kendale Course. Entering this week, she’s second in driving distance on the LPGA Tour, averaging 275.34 yards with the big dog. Fassi is currently second in the field this week in that statistical category, averaging just a hair over 302 yards through 36 holes.
“I think it’s huge. There are so many bunkers that come into play for most of the girls, and I am able to take it over them. I think that creates a huge gap between where I’m at and where they are,” said Fassi, who hit 12 of 14 fairways on Friday. “And then again, the fact that we’re not seeing a lot of release this week, it’s another huge factor. Most of my distance is carry anyway, so it’s been pretty cool to get some of my driver to work.”
Currently 97th in the Race to the CME Globe standings, Fassi admits it isn’t the year she envisioned for herself, but a successful week in Cincinnati could be the turning point for the 24-year-old as the end of the year looms. This will be the sixth time making the weekend in her 14th event of the year with season-best result of third coming alongside playing partner and major champion Stacy Lewis at the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational. Aside from that team competition, Fassi has yet to crack the top 10 in an individual event since the 2021 ShopRite LPGA Classic, where she finished fifth, thanks in part to a final-round 64, her career-low.
“I haven’t had the year that I wanted. I’m not where I want on CME rankings either. You start putting so much pressure on yourself, and I’ve been really working and trying to overcome all of that,” said Fassi. “I’m very happy that these last two days have been good. A lot of very positive things. A lot to improve. But very happy with the way my mental game is and really excited for this weekend.”
ALLY EWING CONTINUES TO LIGHT UP NEW VENUES
She has become the “New Course Queen,” a player who masters the mysteries of new venues faster than most. It seems that no matter how she has been playing, put Ally Ewing on a course nobody knows and she somehow comes through.
Ewing’s maiden LPGA Tour win was the 2020 Drive On Championship at Reynolds Lake Oconee. That week Mariah Stackhouse, who grew up in Georgia, and Gerina Mendoza, who played at Reynolds in a “Big Break” show on Golf Channel, were the only players who knew anything about the place. Ewing adapted quickly and won by a shot over Danielle Kang.
Her second victory was the LPGA Tour’s first visit to Shadow Creek for the 2021 Bank of Hope LPGA Match-Play presented by MGM Resorts.
Certainly 2022 hasn’t been the year she wanted. Her best finish so far has been a tie for 11th way back in January at the Gainbridge LPGA. But her best two back-to-back rounds before this week were at the Cognizant Founders Cup where Ewing opened with 67 and 66, on, you guessed it, a course that no active LPGA Tour player had played before this year, Upper Montclair Country Club.
So, her total of -11 through two rounds of the Kroger Queen City Championship presented by P&G might surprise someone who has only looked at her finishes this year. But the Kendale Course at Kenwood Country Club is a new venue for all of these players. In fact, given the early-week weather some of them saw the whole thing for the first time on Thursday during the opening round. And that is Ewing’s wheelhouse.
For more, please visit https://www.lpga.com/news/2022/ally-ewing-continues-to-light-up-new-venues.
ANGEL YIN ALL OVER THE MAP ON FRONT NINE, HER BACK NINE AT KENWOOD CC
After making two birdies in her opening nine holes, the back nine of the Kendale Course at Kenwood Country Club, Angel Yin didn’t see another par for the rest of her second round at the Kroger Queen City Championship presented by P&G. The 23-year-old finished up Friday with a 33 on the front nine, a 3-under performance that saw her card a double bogey and an eagle back-to-back as well as five birdies and two bogeys en route to a 5-under 67, moving her to -8 overall and five back of the lead. Roller coaster days can sour a player’s mood, but Yin says she just kept playing and ground out a positive result.
“My caddie, Donny, is really encouraging, so it’s good. He was telling me about Real Madrid. Best comeback ever, so bounce back. It was right after my double. It’s more about having fun and trying to keep it level-headed,” said Yin who hit 12 of 14 fairways and 13 of 18 greens on day two. “At one point I was 3-under, falling down a lot, so I was like, ‘Okay, I got to get it back together.’ It’s tough. Course is not that easy, especially with the difference between the green and the fairway and how wet it is. The greens are quite firm actually.”
Yin has had a tough 2022 season thus far. She’s missed six cuts in 17 starts and was forced to withdraw from the Amundi Evian Championship after a back injury left her barely able to walk. There have been a few successes, including a top-five result at the Cognizant Founders Cup where Yin finished in a tie for third. But Yin isn’t one to linger on the good or the bad, simply plugging along and taking each day as it comes, even in the wake of adversity.
“It’s exciting because I’ve been playing good golf,” said Yin. “I was really looking forward to Europe but Thursday of Evian I woke up with a bad back and I couldn’t walk. I tried to push through but just didn’t happen. That entire Europe trip went to shambles. It was just terrible. And so I started working out again. Last week was really unfamiliar. I wasn’t really sure what’s going on with my body. I was hitting my 8-iron 15 yards short sometimes because I didn’t want to go after it because it was kind of traumatizing.”
Rolex Rankings No. 43, Jeongeun Lee6 (1, 66-63)
- She hit 12 of 14 fairways and 14 of 18 greens, with 23 putts
- Lee6’s 63 ties her second-lowest 18-hole score, which she last recorded in the second round at the 2021 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship; her career-best is a 61, carded in the second round of the 2021 Amundi Evian Championship
- Her 131 is a new second-best 36-hole score; her career best is a 127, recorded at the 2021 Amundi Evian Championship where she finished in second
- This is Lee6’s 16th event of the 2022 season; she’s carded three top-10 finishes, including a season-best T4 at the HSBC Women’s World Championship
- This is her fourth season on the LPGA Tour; she’s an LPGA Tour winner and major champion after winning the U.S. Women’s Open presented by ProMedica
- In 2019, Jeongeun Lee6 won the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year
- Lee6 earned medalist honors at the inaugural LPGA Q-Series to first earn status for the 2019 season
- She is a six-time winner on the KLPGA, including two wins in 2018
Rolex Rankings No. 34, Xiyu Lin (2, 64-68)
- She hit 13 of 14 fairways and 13 of 18 greens with 23 putts
- Lin’s 64 is one off her career-low 18-hole score (63), which she recorded in the third round of the LPGA Drive On Championship at Crown Colony
- This is her lowest first-round score since a 64 at the Honda LPGA Thailand
- This is Lin’s 19th event of 2022; she’s recorded three top-10 finishes, including a season- and career-best runner-up result at the Honda LPGA Thailand
- This is her ninth season on the LPGA Tour; she’s made $2,786,814 in career earnings and has notched 15 top-10 finishes
- Lin is a two-time Olympian representing the People’s Republic of China; she finished 38th at the 2016 Rio Olympics and T9 at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics
- She was on Team China at the 2016 International Crown
- Lin is a two-time Ladies European Tour winner, winning the 2014 and 2015 Sanya Ladies Open, co-sanctioned by the LET, Ladies Asian Golf Tour and the CLPGA
- Along with the Sanya Ladies Open wins, she’s won five times on the CLPGA
Rolex Rankings No. 52, Ally Ewing (3, 69-64)
- She hit 13 of 14 fairways and 15 of 18 greens, with 25 putts
- Ewing’s 64 ties her second-lowest 18-hole score; it is her lowest round score since the 2021 Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open, where she shot a 63 in the final round
- Her 133 ties her career-low 36-hole score; she’s recorded it three previous times, including most recently at the 2022 Cognizant Founders Cup
- This is Ewing’s 17th event of the 2022 season; her season-best result is a tie for 11th at the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio
- This is her seventh season on Tour; she’s a two-time winner, most recently at the 2021 Bank of Hope LPGA Match-Play
- Ewing is a two-time U.S. Solheim Cup Team member (2019, 2021)
- She finished T22 at Final Stage in 2015 to first earn Tour status for the 2016 season
- As an amateur, she played on the 2014 U.S. Curtis Cup and was a two-time First-Team All-American while at Mississippi State
SOCIAL MEDIA: #DRIVEON
Tournament: @QueenCityLPGA (Twitter), @queencitylpga (Instagram), @QueenCityChampionship (Facebook); #queencitylpga
LPGA Tour: @LPGA and @LPGAMedia (Twitter), @lpga_tour (Instagram)
TV TIMES (all times Eastern on Golf Channel)
Saturday, September 10 – 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, September 11 – 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday, September 10 – 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, September 11 – 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.
ESPN+ FEATURED GROUP STREAMING TIMES
ESPN+ coverage of Saturday and Sunday rounds will follow a similar schedule to Thursday and Friday coverage. The featured groups will be determined when pairings and tee times are announced.
COURTESY LPGA TOUR COMMUNICATIONS