Saturday, May 26, 2018

South Korean Mirim Lee wins LGA tourney

BELMONT, Mich. — Rookie Mirim Lee won the Meijer LPGA Classic on Sunday for her first LPGA Tour victory, beating fellow South Korean Inbee Park with a birdie on the second hole of a playoff.

"I (was) nervous 100 percent," Lee said. "First time in (a) playoff. Inbee Park is like a hero in Korea, and all the young girls want to be her now in Korea."

The long-hitting Lee drove into a greenside bunker on the second extra hole — the short par-4 17th — and blasted out to 5 feet. After Park's 15-foot birdie try lipped out, Lee holed her putt for the victory.

They each parred the 18th to open the playoff. Park's approach shot hit the cup on the way past, and she missed a 15-foot birdie try. Lee two-putted from 35 feet.

Lee, 23, closed with 2-under 69 to match Park (70) at 14-under 270 at Blythefield Country Club.

Suzann Pettersen was a stroke back after 69.

Park said the win will give Lee great confidence.

"I think she was kind of, you know, thinking about whether she should come to the LPGA or whether she should stay in (Korea)," Park said. "But I think this will definitely make her see she made a good decision."

Park said in the end the new blade putter she put in the bag for the tournament let her down in the last round.

"I felt I hit a good putt, but it just didn't go in," she said of the final birdie attempt. "The putter just wasn't there."

U.S. Women's Amateur: Kristen Gillman rallied to win, beating Canada's Brooke Mackenzie Henderson 2 up in the 36-hole final at Nassau Country Club in Glen Cove, N.Y. Gillman is a 16-year-old junior at Lake Travis High in Austin, Texas, who is set to attend the University of Alabama in 2016.