Lee wins U.S. Women’s Open, record $1.8M prize

Golf

SOUTHERN PINES, N.C. — Australian Minjee Lee gained the 2022 U.S. Ladies’s Open at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Membership on Sunday by 5 strokes after capturing an even-par 71 within the closing spherical to complete 13-under on the event and safe the second main victory of her profession.

Lee’s victory nets her $1.8 million — the most important payout in ladies’s golf historical past — as a part of the U.S. Open’s report $10 million purse.

“I imply I am speechless,” Lee mentioned on the 18th inexperienced after elevating the trophy. “It is the one I’ve all the time needed to win and now I’ve completed it.”

Twenty-one years after her fellow Australian Karrie Webb gained the U.S. Open on the similar venue, Lee held on to her four-shot lead after three rounds and held off 32-year-old American Mina Harigae, who got here into the week having by no means completed contained in the top-10 of a significant and completed second at 9-under.

Minjee Lee’s U.S. Ladies’s Open victory — the second main title of her profession — netted her a report $1.8 million. Jared C. Tilton/Getty Pictures

On Saturday, Lee mentioned she exchanged texts with Webb, whose caddie again in 2001 at Pine Needles was Jason Gilroyed. Gilroyed was additionally on the bag for Lee this weekend, however as Lee identified, the course has modified a lot through the years that there wasn’t a pure benefit to having him alongside her facet.

Distance proved to arrange Lee for fulfillment at Pine Needles. Throughout each Saturday and Sunday, Lee was always forward of Harigae by 30, 40, even 50 yards or extra. Lee mentioned that the additional time she’s been “going arduous” within the fitness center currently has helped her slowly improve her swing pace, which has resulted in longer drives.

“Clearly when you have a shorter membership in, then you definitely is usually a bit extra aggressive,” Lee mentioned Saturday, successfully summing up her 67 on Day 3 and preempting what was an identical story Sunday. “But it surely would not matter how far I can hit it as a result of the second shot is what issues.”

Whereas she wasn’t essentially the most correct within the discipline off the tee Sunday, Lee’s constant size allowed her to realize strokes along with her method photographs. She ranked within the top-five in greens in regulation on the event and was top-10 in strokes gained on method, across the inexperienced and placing. After 72 holes, Lee left little doubt that she was the most effective participant within the discipline.

The 26-year-old Lee gained her first main final July on the Evian Championship in France by erasing a seven-stroke deficit and beating South Korean Jeongeun Lee6 within the first gap of a sudden-death playoff. Lee additionally has two third-place finishes at majors in her profession — on the British Open in 2020 and on the ANA Inspiration in 2017. Her finest U.S. Open end earlier than this event was tying for eleventh in 2017.

Later this month on the Ladies’s PGA Championship at Congressional Nation Membership in Washington D.C., Lee will attempt to change into the primary participant to win back-to-back majors since Inbee Park gained the primary three majors of 2013.

World No. 2 Nelly Korda (2-under) completed tied for eighth in her first event since present process surgical procedure for a blood clot in her left arm. South Korean Jin Younger Ko, the highest participant on this planet coming into this event, completed tied for fourth at 6-under, whereas the No. 3 participant on this planet Lydia Ko completed fifth at 5-under.

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