Minjee Lee came from seven strokes back on Sunday to force a playoff and defeat Jeongeon Lee for her first major win at the Evian Championship at the Evian Resort Golf Club in France.
It appeared that the weekend would belong to Jeongeun Lee6, who carded a 10-under 61 in the second round to tie the best 18-hole score ever shot in a major by a man or woman. Lee6 entered Sunday seven shots ahead of Lee, but the Australian Lee recorded seven birdies and no bogeys in her final round of 64 to enter the clubhouse with a one-shot lead.
Lee6, on the other hand, struggled greatly on her opening nine holes after starting with a birdie on hole 1. From holes 3-9, she had five bogeys in that seven-hole span. She was able to recover for a birdie on 12 and then finished with a flurry, going -3 on the final three holes to force the playoff.
The two replayed the 18th hole in the sudden-death playoff, where Lee6 hit her second shot into the water for an eventual bogey. Lee birdied the hole for the victory.
The win was Lee’s first major victory after racking up five wins in seven years on the LPGA tour.
“I’ve been waiting for this for so long. It just feels unreal to have won,” Lee said. “It’s easier said than done, and everybody is so good out here. It’s just really nice to have a major title under my belt. Has a nice ring to it.”
Lee, who took home $675,000 for the win, joins Karrie Webb, Jan Stephenson, and Hannah Green as major winners from Australia.
Yealimi Noh finished in third place at -17, one stroke behind Lee and Lee6. Ayaka Furue was fourth at -15, and Atthaya Thitikul from Thailand was fifth at -14.
The LPGA’s best golfers, including Lydia Ko (-13) and Nelly Korda (-7), now head to the Tokyo Olympics to take part in the competition for a gold medal in their tournament from Aug. 4-7.
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