RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — Mirim Lee chipped in 3 times Sunday, the final one for eagle on the ultimate gap that obtained her right into a three-way playoff on the ANA Inspiration that she received on the primary further gap with a birdie.
It was one other wild end within the LPGA main that moved from the primary weekend of April to the 100-degree warmth of September, and nobody was extra stunned than the 29-year-old Lee.
She was by no means within the lead at any level till she calmly holed a 5-foot birdie putt on the 18th to beat Nelly Korda and Brooke Henderson, who every had the lead on the again 9.
Lee pitched in from lengthy vary for par on the 16th, dropped a shot on the subsequent gap and gave the impression to be out of it till her chip from behind the 18th inexperienced rammed towards the pin and dropped for eagle and a 5-under 67.
Korda, the 22-year-old American going for her first main, had a two-shot lead with 4 holes to play and could not maintain it. With a one-shot lead going to the par-5 18th, Korda missed the green, needed to lay up and missed the inexperienced to the proper, having to scramble for par and a 69 simply to match Lee at 15-under 273.
Henderson misplaced the lead with a double bogey on the 13th gap that almost price her. However she birdied the 16th and was saved by the wall, a blue-covered construction behind the 18th that saved her second shot on the 18th from operating by way of the inexperienced and into the water behind the island inexperienced.
She obtained up-and-down for birdie and a 69 to affix the playoff.
On the primary further gap, Korda once more missed the green and needed to lay up, and her wedge was 25 toes quick for a birdie putt that by no means had an opportunity. Henderson’s second shot got here up simply quick, and she or he used putter for her eagle try that rolled out some 7 toes previous the cup on the sun-baked, quick greens of Mission Hills. Her birdie putt missed on the left facet.
Lee hit 5-wood simply over the again of the placing floor, chipped to five toes and made the winner.
Even with world No. 1 Jin Younger Ko and U.S. Girls’s Open champion Jeongeun Lee6 staying dwelling due to journey issues with the coronavirus, Lee made it 10 consecutive years with a South Korea successful a serious.
It was her fourth LPGA Tour victory, and first for the reason that Kia Traditional three years in the past.
Her victory spared extra dialog in regards to the blue wall behind the 18th inexperienced, which the event erected rather than a hospitality chalet that was not wanted this yr as a result of there have been no spectators.
It was talked about all week, and the chalet in a traditional yr has blocked photographs hit too laborious. However it almost determined the event. Henderson was one shot behind along with her ball sitting up within the tough on the 18th in regulation. She hit 5-wood by way of the inexperienced and underneath the blue bunting, permitting for a drop.
She chipped right down to 2 toes for birdie to affix the three-way playoff.
Henderson wanted a break after having to spend the ultimate hour making an attempt to catch as much as Korda. The Canadian took her solely lead on the 12th gap when Korda made bogey, and it did not final lengthy.
Henderson drove into the proper tough on the 13th and 6-iron within the improper place — proper once more, with a bunker guarding the entrance proper pin. She flopped that into the bunker and did not get up-and-down, resulting in double bogey.
Korda answered with a tee shot into 5 toes for birdie on the par-Three 14th, and immediately her lead was at two. However she could not hold on. Henderson’s Eight-foot birdie putt curled within the left facet of the cup on No. 16 with good pace. Korda held onto the lead on the 17th with an Eight-foot par putt, and that arrange the large end on the 18th.
By all of it, Lee was an afterthought till her gorgeous end.
She already chipped in for birdie from wanting the inexperienced at No. 6. Lee gave herself an opportunity by pitching in from wanting the 16th inexperienced to a again pin. And after a bogey on the 17th, she went lengthy of the 18th and chipped in for eagle, dropping her head with a tender smile in disbelief.
Lexi Thompson, going after a second title at Mission Hills, was by no means a critical issue after bogeys that slowed her momentum. She closed with two birdies on her final three holes for a 69 to complete two photographs out of the playoff.
U.S. Girls’s Novice champion Rose Zhang birdied the 18th for a 72 to tie for 11th. She completed at Eight-under 280, setting the document for lowest rating by an beginner.