SOUTHERN PINES, NC — Minjee Lee of Australia gained the US Girls’s Open by 4 strokes over Mina Harigae at Pine Needles on Sunday to earn $1.8 million, the biggest payout within the historical past of ladies’s golf.
Lee closed Sunday’s ultimate spherical with an even-par 71 to complete at 13-under 271 for the event after having flirted with the event file of 16 below set by the American Juli Inkster in 1999 at Previous Waverly Golf Membership in Mississippi.
“I imply, I am speechless,” Lee stated. “I am unable to consider it proper now. No, it is simply tremendous, tremendous particular and only a nice honor. It has been my dream since I used to be a bit of lady. It is the one which I at all times needed to win on; now I’ve carried out it, and simply feels wonderful.”
Lee’s winnings got here from a file $10 million purse.
“We’re solely transferring in the appropriate course,” Lee stated. “I believe it is solely going to get higher and higher from right here. It is such a big sum, and I am actually honored to be the primary winner I suppose of this sum. We’re solely going to get higher and higher.”
Harigae shot a 72 for her finest end in a significant event and earned a examine of barely greater than $1 million.
Though she knew she had no likelihood to win down the stretch, Harigae stated it was nonetheless aggravating realizing that $1 million — a bigger payout than what the winner makes at most LPGA Tour occasions — was at stake.
“I am not going to lie, my abdomen hurts the final couple holes coming down the stretch,” Harigae, 32, stated. “I used to be actually stressed, however I used to be actually simply specializing in one shot at a time, making stable contact, and simply hitting good putts.”
South Korea’s Hye-Jin Choi was considered one of solely two gamers to interrupt par Sunday, carding a 70 to complete third at 7 below.
South Korea’s Jin Younger Ko, No. 1 within the girls’s golf rankings, completed fourth at 6 below, seven photographs again of the lead after a 71. Lydia Ko was at 5 below after a 72.
Ingrid Lindblad, the Louisiana State College participant from Sweden, was the low novice at 1 below, tying for eleventh after a 76.
Lee, 26, was by no means challenged on a course that performed considerably more durable on Sunday than it did the earlier three days. She opened with rounds of 67, 66 and 67.
Lee grew to become the sixth straight worldwide participant to win the US Girls’s Open and the primary from Australia since her mentor, Karrie Webb, gained in 2001. It was her second profession victory at a significant championship after successful the Evian Championship final July. Her earlier finest end on the US Open was a tie for eleventh in 2017.
Lee, who entered the week ranked No. 4, has gained eight LPGA Tour occasions and have become the primary repeat winner this yr following her victory on the Founders Cup three weeks in the past in New Jersey.
Lee entered the ultimate spherical with a three-stroke lead over Harigae and had stated after the third spherical that her objective was to proceed to remain aggressive and make birdies.
She lived up these targets early, birdieing the primary two holes to maneuver to fifteen below and take a five-stroke lead over Harigae.
She stumbled a bit with bogeys on the fifth and seventh holes, however she was nonetheless capable of make the flip at even-par 35 and with a four-stroke cushion when Harigae additionally bogeyed the seventh. The lead elevated to 5 strokes after Harigae bogeyed the par-4 eleventh gap, all however sealing Lee’s win.
Lee then knocked in a bending 9-foot birdie putt on No. 12 to push the result in six, prompting her to pump her arm in celebration. She appeared in distance of Inkster’s file when she obtained to fifteen below after a birdie on the par-5 fifteenth gap, however closed with two bogeys.
Harigae did not make her first birdie till the fifteenth gap.
Nelly Korda closed with a 73 on Sunday to tie for eighth in her first event since present process surgical procedure to deal with a blood clot in her left arm.
“The primary week again you may have rust, proper, so you do not actually anticipate a lot out of your sport,” stated Korda, the world’s No. 2 gamers. “You do not know the place your sport is at. Realizing that I can play on a extremely powerful golf course at a significant and even sort of be in rivalry is unquestionably a constructive.”