Min­jee Lee keeps ri­vals at bay for China win

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

BEIJING: Aus­tralia’s Min­jee Lee beat back stiff com­pe­ti­tion from ri­vals to land her third LPGA vic­tory at the Blue Bay tour­na­ment on China’s Hainan Is­land yes­ter­day.

Lee carded a two-un­der par 70 to win by one stroke at 13-un­der par, one ahead of Jes­sica Korda and two ahead of Thai­land’s Ariya Ju­tanu­garn on the par72 course. Lee and Korda shared the leader­board top spot head­ing into the fi­nal round, but the 20-year-old from Perth edged ahead of the Amer­i­can Sun­day, fir­ing a birdie at the first hole.

At the par-three sev­enth hole a birdie by Lee and a bo­gey by Korda ex­tended that lead to three and the Aus­tralian closed out the tour­na­ment with rounds of 65-67-73-70 for a to­tal of 275.

Lee is pro­jected to move up in the Rolex Women’s World Golf rank­ings after her Blue Bay win. Hav­ing pock­eted the $315,000 first prize, she has al­most $2 mil­lion in ca­reer earn­ings since turn­ing pro­fes­sional in 2014.

“I feel like I’ve been play­ing re­ally solid golf the whole year. I know I won in Hawaii, but getting a win this week, it feels re­ally good. Just re­ally happy,” said Lee on her win. “I’m glad I came out on top but it was a re­ally good fight out there.” Korda can take heart in her per­for­mance, card­ing 67-72-66-71 and a to­tal of 276 for her best fin­ish of 2016, as she pre­pares for the SIME Darby LPGA in Malaysia where she is de­fend­ing cham­pion. Ju­tanu­garn posted a fi­nal round two-un­der par 70 to fin­ish third for her 14th top ten fin­ish of the year, in­clud­ing five vic­to­ries.

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