Minjee Lee wins U.S. Women’s Open, record $1.8 million prize

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SOUTHERN PINES, N.C. — Australian Minjee Lee received the 2022 U.S. Women’s Open at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club on Sunday by 5 strokes after capturing an even-par 71 within the remaining spherical to complete 13-under on the event and safe the second main victory of her profession.

Lee’s victory nets her $1.8 million — the most important payout in ladies’s golf historical past — as a part of the U.S. Open’s record $10 million purse.

“I imply I’m speechless,” Lee stated on the 18th inexperienced after elevating the trophy. “It’s the one I’ve all the time needed to win and now I’ve executed it.”

Twenty-one years after her fellow Australian Karrie Webb received the U.S. Open on the similar venue, Lee held on to her four-shot lead after three rounds and held off 32-year-old American Mina Harigae, who got here into the week having by no means completed contained in the top-10 of a serious and completed second at 9-under.

On Saturday, Lee stated she exchanged texts with Webb, whose caddie again in 2001 at Pine Needles was Jason Gilroyed. Gilroyed was additionally on the bag for Lee this weekend, however as Lee identified, the course has modified a lot through the years that there wasn’t a pure benefit to having him alongside her aspect.

Distance proved to arrange Lee for fulfillment at Pine Needles. During each Saturday and Sunday, Lee was continually forward of Harigae by 30, 40, even 50 yards or extra. Lee stated that the additional time she’s been “going onerous” within the fitness center these days has helped her slowly enhance her swing velocity, which has resulted in longer drives.

“Obviously if in case you have a shorter membership in, then you definitely generally is a bit extra aggressive,” Lee stated Saturday, successfully summing up her 67 on Day 3 and preempting what was an identical story Sunday. “But it would not matter how far I can hit it as a result of the second shot is what issues.”

While she wasn’t essentially the most correct within the subject off the tee Sunday, Lee’s constant size allowed her to achieve strokes along with her method pictures. She ranked within the top-five in greens in regulation on the event and was top-10 in strokes gained on method, across the inexperienced and placing. After 72 holes, Lee left little doubt that she was the very best participant within the subject.

The 26-year-old Lee received her first main final July on the Evian Championship in France by erasing a seven-stroke deficit and beating South Korean Jeongeun Lee6 within the first gap of a sudden-death playoff. Lee additionally has two third-place finishes at majors in her profession — on the British Open in 2020 and on the ANA Inspiration in 2017. Her finest U.S. Open end earlier than this event was tying for eleventh in 2017.

Later this month on the Women’s PGA Championship at Congressional Country Club in Washington D.C., Lee will attempt to develop into the primary participant to win back-to-back majors since Inbee Park received the primary three majors of 2013.

World No. 2 Nelly Korda (2-under) completed tied for eighth in her first event since present process surgical procedure for a blood clot in her left arm. South Korean Jin Young Ko, the highest participant on the planet coming into this event, completed tied for fourth at 6-under, whereas the No. 3 participant on the planet Lydia Ko completed fifth at 5-under.

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