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Minjee Lee’s Epic Comeback Earns First Major at Evian

Minjee Lee’s Epic Comeback Earns First Major at Evian

MAJOR

Evian Championship

Minjee Lee’s Epic Comeback Earns First Major at Evian

Australia’s Minjee Lee collected her maiden major title after winning the Evian Championship in a playoff. The 25-year-old from Western Australia overcame South Korea’s Jeongeun Lee6 at the first extra hole with a birdie four at the par 5, 18th hole.

Lee joins fellow Australian female golfers Karrie Webb (7), Jan Stephenson (3) and Hannah Green (1) in the ‘major winners’ club.

Lee’s performance on Sunday at Evian Golf Club in France was spectacular. The former world No. 1 amateur golfer in the world began the day seven shots off the lead and tied the record for the largest come-from-behind win in a women’s major. Lee’s equalled the feat of her idol Karrie Webb, who won the 2006 Kraft Nabisco Championship in a playoff over Lorena Ochoa after starting the final round seven shots back.

The talented Australian, who had been labelled the best female golfer not to win a major title, fired a flawless final round 7-under 64. The superb round completed an incredible weekend for Lee, who posted an equally impressive 6-under 65 on Saturday.

Lee signalled she would be a threat for the title after closing her third round with birdies at the final four holes. The two-time Victorian Open champion continued the run of under par scores with a birdie at the opening hole on Sunday. She covered the front nine in 3-under 32 after producing birdies at the 7th and 9th holes. Her progress was momentarily halted with four straight pars to open her back nine. Lee needed something special down the final stretch to challenge the leaders. And, she delivered! Lee poured in four clutch birdies at the final five holes to reach 18-under for the event and ultimately join Lee6 in the playoff. Lee defeated Lee6 at the first extra hole after she struck an impressive 6-iron second shot to within 10 feet of the pin at the par 5. Two putts were enough for victory as Lee6 succumbed to the pressure dunking her approach to the green in the water hazard.

Lee6’s final round was a tale of two nines. The 25-year-old went out in 4-over 39 with five bogeys and one birdie. The 2019 US Women’s Open champion then came home in 4-under 32 with four unanswered birdies including three consecutive red numbers to end her round and reach the playoff with Lee.

The win was Lee’s sixth LPGA Tour title. It was her first LPGA Tour title since collecting the 2019 Hugel-Air Premia LA Open. Her maiden LPGA Tour title came at the 2015 Kingsmill Championship. The win completes a massive month for the Lee family—her brother Min Woo won the European Tour’s Scottish Open in a playoff.

America’s Yealimi Noh finished one shot out of the playoff and in outright third place. Noh started the final round four shots behind Lee6 and carded a 4-under 67 to get to 17-under.

Ireland’s Leona Maguire signed a record-equalling 61 to move up the leaderboard to T6. Maguire’s 10-under 61 matched the lowest round ever by any golfer at a major—Lee6 accomplished the extraordinary achievement in the second round this week. Maguire and Lee6 share the record with South Korea’s Hyo Joo Kim (Evian Championship in 2014).

 

Final Scores
Evian Championship

1. Minjee Lee -18
2. Joengeun Lee6 -18
3. Yealimi Noh -17
4. Ayaka Furue -15
5. Atthaya Thitikul -14
T6. Leona Maguire -13
T6. Georgia Hall -13
T6. In Gee Chun -13
T6. Lydia Ko -13


Other Australians
T19. Sarah Kemp -7
T65. Stephanie Kyriacou +3
MC. Su Oh
MC. Katherine Kirk

Photo credit: Stuart Franklin / Getty Images

 

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