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Lee Min-jee claims first season victory, ninth overall in LPGA

Lee Min-jee claims first season victory, ninth overall in LPGA

Posted September. 12, 2023 08:34,   

Updated September. 12, 2023 08:34


In a remarkable display of grit and determination, the Australian-Korean golf sensation, Lee Min-jee (27), clinched a hard-fought victory at the prestigious LPGA Tour Kroger Queen City Championship, marking her triumphant first win of the season.

On Monday, Lee played in the final fourth round of the tournament at the Kenwood Country Club in Cincinnati, Ohio, the U.S., where she scored a one-under-par 71 with three birdies and one double bogey, totaling her score to 16-under-par 272. Lee ended the prolonged match on a high note, securing a victory in the second hole of the playoff by capturing a birdie, after tying with England's Charley Hull. The victory bagged her a prize money of 300,000 dollars. Lee, the champion of the U.S. Women's Open major tournament held last June, has reached the summit in her 15th appearance this year, marking her ninth overall victory on the LPGA Tour.

Lee, who initiated the final round as a sole leader with a two-shot advantage, seemed to cruise to a smooth victory as she added three birdies in the first nine holes. However, her momentum was briefly halted by a double bogey at the 12th hole, allowing Hull to catch up. Hull created a tie with Lee by scoring consecutive birdies on holes 14 to 16. Both players managed to maintain pars at holes 17 and 18, leading the game to a playoff.

Hull nearly clinched the victory in the first round of the playoffs, with a birdie putt from the fringe that stopped just short of the hole. The LPGA Tour commented, "If the ball had rolled just one more round, Hull would have won." Overcoming the crisis, Lee swung the tide in her favor with a fantastic wedge shot in the second hole of the playoff. She followed up a remarkable wedge shot from the rough that landed the ball just 50 cm away from the hole, effortlessly securing a birdie and sealing her victory.

Heon-Jae Lee uni@donga.com