South Korea is well-known on the LPGA Tour for producing numerous female standouts.
To make that undeniable is that five of the top 10 women golfers in the world hail from South Korea.
So, a name to remember because she fully intends to join the South Korean dominance is Somi Lee, a 17-year-old who took the second-day lead by two shots in the Junior Orange Bowl International Golf Championship at Biltmore Golf Course in Coral Gables on Wednesday.
“My goal is for people who support me now when I am not famous that I will be able to give back to them and make them happy when, hopefully, I become famous,” Lee said. Famous, for Lee, would be making the LPGA Tour. Really famous would be joining all those South Korean women who have made the Top 10.
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Lee’s total for the Junior Orange Bowl is 68-69—137 with first-day leader Agathe Laisne two back at 67-72-139.
Lee will graduate from her South Korean high school in 2018 and has not yet decided where she will play college golf, or even whether it will be in the United States or elsewhere. For now, she will stay in South Korea and continue playing for the national team.
“Korea is very organized and very detailed with lots of support,” Lee said of her country.
This is Lee’s first visit to Miami and the Junior OB tournament, and she would not mind coming back to see more of the city.
“Miami is lovely,” she said.
She likes travel, meeting people and seeing new things – one of the bonuses of being a golf phenom. However, she admits she misses her parents, although she pointed out, “I talk to them every day.” That’s thanks to the technological age.
In the boys’ competition, first-day leader Karl Vilips, 15, of Australia, upped his advantage to five strokes, shooting 65-67—132 to be at 10-under 132 for two rounds. Joaquin Niemann of Chile is in second at 67-70-137.
International dominance was flexing its golf swing on Wednesday as the top four boys were from outside the U.S., as were the top four girls.
Boys: 1. Karl Vilips, Australia, 65-67-132; 2. (tie) Joaquin Niemann, Chile, 67-70-137; Mateo Fernandez de Oliveir, Argentina, 69-68—137; 4. Edgar Catherine, France, 68-70—138; 5. (tie) Will Dickson, USA, 79-61-140; Bryan Teoh, USA, 73-67-140; Pedro Silva, Portugal, 70-70—140; David Rauch, Germany, 69-71—140.
Girls: 1. Somi Lee, South Korea, 68-69-137; 2. (tie) Agathe Laisne, France, 67-72—139. 3. (tie) Ana Laura Collado, Mexico, 69-72—141; 5. (tie) Alex Pano, USA, 73-71—144; Tanya Eathakotti, USA, 73-71-144.