Novil Cup 2022

Lee keeps chase

Lee keeps chase


Korean-American Han Lee heads into the final 18 holes of the Novil Cup in tied-20th place after posting another two-under-par 70 at the season-opening Abema Tour event on Thursday.


While the 44-year-old needs a herculean effort for a grandstand finish, he is pleased with how he has played over the last two days in the 54-hole tournament at the J Classic Golf Club in Tokushima prefecture.


Lee started the day with all guns blazing by going five-under through 11 holes courtesy of five birdies. But that impressive run ended when he double bogeyed the par-four No 14.


He would drop two more shots on 15 and 17, but a sixth birdie on 16 limited the damage as he remains on course for a second top 10 finish in as many weeks.


Lee, who came in a creditable tied ninth at the Token Homemate Cup last week, finished the day on four-under-par 140 total, just one shot off the current top 10 standings.


"I felt a lot better than yesterday. I shot two-under with no bogeys, but it was kind of a grind," said Lee.


"I tried to play more aggressively in the last six holes, but looking back now, maybe I should have just played it safe."


Lee explained that the reason why he entered the event this week was to get himself warmed up for the next week's Kansai Open on the main Tour.


"I want to try to get into good shape for Kansai (Open), and I really like the golf course here. That's part of the reason I play here this week besides trying to on the game," said Lee, who qualified for the main Tour after finishing 15th in the Final Qualifying Tournament last year.


Ryo Katsumata will take a slender shot lead into the deciding day after firing a 64 for a 132 total. 


Katsumata broke away from the chasing pack after marking his scorecard with an eagle and seven birdies, and a lone bogey on the last.


In joint second on 11-under were Satoshi Hara (65) and Yuto Soeda (67), while Kazuki Yasumori (67) was a further two shots back.


The top-60 players and ties will contest in the final 18 holes. A total of 71 players, including four amateurs, made the cut which was set at even-par. They finished in tied-61st position or better.


For full scores of the Novil Cup, click here.