AUSTRALIA’S Minjee Lee captured her third LPGA career win with a fighting one stroke victory at the 2016 Blue Bay LPGA in China on the weekend.
It was the 20 year old’s second victory of the year and showed the Perth youngster’s mettle as the tournament came down to a putt on the final hole.
Lee played impeccable golf in the first two rounds and led by six strokes going into the weekend.
But she came back to the field after a struggling 73 in the third round and went into the final round Sunday tied for the lead.
Everything looked fine by the 17th where she had secured a two stroke lead over playing partners Jessica Korda and the tour’s hotshot of the year, Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn.
Jutanugarn sunk a great birdie putt on the par three and then nerves got to the Australian when she three putted for bogey from the middle of the green, her first miss of the day.
The Thai helped out immensely on the 18th when she put her tee shot in the water but Korda didn’t when she set herself for a very makeable eagle putt and had a chance to snatch victory.
Lee responded to the pressure with a great chip from the front of the green that put her within a few feet of birdie. When Korda missed her eagle chance it was all over – apart from some winning putt nerves from the young Australian.
“Obviously because I won, I’m very happy right now,” said Lee, who carded a 2-under par 70 to win by one-stroke at 13-under par, one ahead of Korda and two-strokes ahead of Jutanugarn.
“But yeah, going into the final round, I knew that it was going to be a good fight today. So yeah, I think yeah, if we kept trading scores, yeah, it was a good fight out there, and I fought to the end.”
Walking down the 18th she needed all the experience of her first two wins.
“I knew that I had a good opportunity but I was getting ahead of myself. I knew that either Jess was going to make birdie, was probably going to make birdie, and so I thought to myself, I need to make birdie here,” said Lee. “I just put myself in good spots and then yeah, I ended up making birdie. Yeah, just stuck to my game plan.”
Lee won the 2016 LOTTE Championship in Hawaii earlier in the year and also the Kingsmill Championship in her rookie season in 2015 and is knocking on the door of a top 10 ranking.
Minjee Lee Blue Ray LPGA Winning Highlights Video
LPGA Final Results