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Lee wins the $ 1.8 million US Women’s Open

SOUTHERN PINES, NC – The incredible Australian would not be denied.

Minjee Lee won the U.S. Women’s Open for four strokes on Mina Harigae in Pine Needles on Sunday and earned $ 1.8 million, the highest payout in women’s golf history.

Lee closed with an equal of 71 to finish with 13 under 271 after the Australian flirted with the record of the tournament of 16 under the one established by Juli Inkster in 1999 in Old Waverly.

“I mean, I’m speechless,” Lee said. “I can’t believe it right now. No, it’s super, super special and a great honor. It’s been my dream since I was little. It’s what I’ve always wanted to win; now I’ve done it and I feel amazing.”

Lee’s earnings came from a record $ 10 million scholarship.

“We’re just moving in the right direction,” Lee said. “I think from here it’s only going to get better. It’s such a big sum, and I’m very honored to be the first winner I guess of this sum. We’re just going to get better and better.”

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Harigae threw a 72 for his best result in a major and a check for just over $ 1 million.

Although he knew he had no chance of winning the stretch, Harigae said it was still stressful to know that $ 1 million was at stake, a check that is bigger than what the winner does at most LPGA Tour events.

“I’m not going to lie, my stomach hurts the last two holes going down the stretch,” Harigae said. “I was very stressed, but I was really focusing on one shot at a time, making solid contact and just hitting good putts.”

South Korean Hye-Jin Choi was one of only two players to break even on Sunday, with 70 to finish third with 7 less.

South Korean Jin Young Ko, the world’s No. 1 player, finished fourth at 6 less, seven shots behind the lead after a 71. Lydia Ko was 5 less after a 72.

Sweden’s LSU player Ingrid Lindblad was the lowest with 1 less, tying for 11th after 76.

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Lee, 26, has never been challenged on a field that has played significantly harder than the previous three days. She opened with rounds of 67, 66 and 67.

Lee became the sixth consecutive international player to win the US Women’s Open and the first in Australia since mentoring Karrie Webb in 2001. It was her second major league victory after winning the Evian Championship last July. His previous best result in the U.S. Open was a 11th-place tie in 2017.

Lee, who entered week 4 of the world, won eight LPGA Tour events and became the first repeater this year after winning the Founders Cup three weeks ago in New Jersey.

Lee entered the final round with a three-time lead over Harigae and said that after the third round his goal was to remain aggressive and make little birds.

She was up to par from the start, making birds in the first two holes to go to 15 minus and take a five-stroke lead over Harigae.

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He stumbled a bit with bogeys at numbers 5 and 7, but was still able to make the turn at par 35 and with a four-stroke mattress when Harigae also made the seventh. The lead increased to five after Harigae crossed hole 11 of par-4, but sealed the victory.

Lee then hit a nine-foot bird putt bent at number 12 to take the lead to six, prompting him to push his arm to celebrate. He seemed to look at Inkster’s record when he reached 15 low after a birdie in hole 15 of par 5, but closed with two bogeys.

Harigae did not make his first bird until the hole 15.

Lee said she has never been more nervous on a golf course, though she has never led with less than three strokes.

“Even with a three-shot lead I never felt comfortable today,” Lee said. “I felt like I still needed to play well. I still needed to keep my position. That’s pretty much what I did. To start aggressively, I think it was the right move, and then I had a pretty big advantage, so I was able to play my game. just to finish “.

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Webb, Australia’s best seven-year-old golfer, has known Lee since he was 14 years old. She has a scholarship program to take young Australian amateurs to seniors to spend a week with her and experience it all. Minjee has won the scholarship twice.

Webb won her second U.S. Women’s Open at the Pine Needles in 2001 by eight shots.

Webb was at the Philadelphia Cricket Club on a pre-arranged outing, charged his phone until it was time to play and spent the day checking scores, and then streaming the last three holes.

“So amazing. Just like she’s been playing all week, it never seemed like the time was coming for her. keep putting it that way, you have the whole package. “

Webb said he sent her a text during the week, not with any advice, but simple phrases like “I love your job.”

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Nelly Korda closed out Sunday with a 73 to tie eighth at 2 minus in her first tournament since she was operated on to repair a blood clot in her left arm.

“The first week back you have rust, right, so you don’t really expect much from your game,” said Korda, the world’s No. 2 player. “You don’t know where your game is. Knowing that I can play on a very difficult golf course on a big one and even being in contention is definitely positive.”

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Lee wins the $ 1.8 million US Women’s Open

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