USA TODAY US Edition
Lee hangs on and wins Founders Cup
CLIFTON, N.J. – The way LPGA scoring leader Minjee Lee has been playing, winning was only a matter of time.
The title came in the Cognizant Founders Cup on Sunday after a final round in which the Australian wasn’t playing her best.
Lee made her only three birdies on the back nine and held off Lexi Thompson by two shots to win her seventh career title and first since taking her first major at last year’s Evian Championship.
“I just feel like I’ve kind of been trending,” said Lee, who also has a tie for second and a tie for third among her seven starts this year. “I’ve been hitting it really, really well this whole – I mean, this whole season, and I just felt like it was kind of around the corner. I kept knocking on the door, and here I am now.”
Lee took the lead for good with a twoputt birdie on the par-5 14th hole at Upper Montclair Country Club. She closed with a 2-under 70, her only round not in the 60s, for a 72-hole total of 19-under 269 in the event
that honors the 13 founding members of the LPGA tour.
She steadied herself after what she called a “good” bogey on the par-3 eighth. Her ball landed on the sod wall of the bunker and she put her second shot in the sand playing from an awkward stance but got up and down.
“I was actually quite calm the whole day,” Lee said.
Looking for her first LPGA tour win since 2019, Thompson rallied from three down and grabbed a share of the lead with a birdie at No. 10. Thompson and Lee traded birdies on the par-5 12th, but Thompson closed with six straight pars for a 69. Thompson had birdie opportunities on the final two holes that she failed to convert before Lee closed it in style with a short birdie of her own. It was Thompson’s second runner-up in six events this year.
Madelene Sagstrom of Sweden and hard-charging Angel Yin tied for third, three shots off the pace. Sagstrom, who was a shot behind Lee at the start, closed with a 72 despite a quadruple bogey at the par-3 third hole when she needed three shots to escape what she called a “super plugged” lie in a bunker.
– Tom Canavan, Associated Press
Stricker goes wire-to-wire for second Regions Tradition win
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Steve Stricker completed at a wire-to-wire victory Sunday in the Regions Tradition, closing with a 3-under 69 for a five-stroke victory and his fourth PGA Tour Champions major title.
Stricker’s second Tradition win at Greystone Golf & Country Club came in his third event since returning from a six-month absence for health reasons. “It’s been a long time,” the emotional Stricker said. “I hate crying, but where I was last November and even a couple of months ago – to come full circle here, it means a lot.”
He had his 20th consecutive round under par on the Founder’s Course, finishing at 20-under 268 for his eighth victory on the 50-and-over tour.
Paidrag Harrington finished second, birdieing the final two holes for a 68. Steven Alker was in the group at 14 under after a 72.