Second Win for LPGA Rookie Mirim Lee
Mirim Lee has found a comfort zone on the LPGATour. Lee, who was the runner-up at the final stage of Q-School last fall, is now a two-time winner as an LPGA rookie.
She carded a 4-under par 69 on Sunday in windy conditions to score a two-shot victory at the Reignwood LPGA Classic in China. Lee, who turns 24 later this month, finished the 72 holes at Reignwood Pine Valley Golf Club in Bejing at 15-under par 277. It’s Lee’s second win in less than 60 days; her first came at the Meijer LPGA Classic Presented by Kraft in Michigan in early August.
European Solheim Cupper Caroline Hedwall, who, along with world number-one Stacy Lewis was two shots clear of Lee when Sunday’s round began, closed with an even-par 73 to finish alone in second place at 279. Lewis, who was paired with Lee and Hedwall in the final group shot 75 and wound up tied for sixth after either leading or sharing the lead after each of the first three rounds.
The conditions made the final round a prolonged affair; the last group required more than six hours to finish.
Lee went out in 3-under par 33 to draw even with Hedwall; she took the lead alone when Hedwall bogeyed the 10th.
Lee birdied the 16th to increase her lead but the outcome was in doubt after her tee shot at the par-3 17th missed the green and ended up on a rock. But she was able to get up and down from there and preserve her advantage, which she maintained to the finish.
“The ball was actually on the rock.” Lee said. “It went to the direction I wanted it to go, but it wasn’t the momentum that I wanted. So I was telling it to sit down and sit, but I think the result was pretty good. I was happy with the outcome.”
“Of course you’re always a little disappointed that you couldn’t pull it off and win.” Hedwall said. “At the same time, the up and down she made on 17 was just incredible.”
For Lee, the past two months have been incredible of their own accord. “I really didn’t think I would get my second win this quickly,” she said. “I was a lot more nervous this time than first time around.” Sunday’s win was especially memorable for Lee because it was the first time she’d been paired with Lewis in competition. Even though Lewis wasn’t at her best it was still a learning experience. “Usually when I play my rounds I don’t watch the other players.” Lee said. “Today I really observed how Stacy played, and she was such a phenomenal player. It shows why she is the No. 1 player in the world.”