Lee tops Park in Meijer LPGA Classic playoff
08/10/2014 9:19 PM
08/10/2014 9:23 PM
Belmont, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Mirim Lee birdied the second playoff hole Sunday to defeat Inbee Park and win the Meijer LPGA Classic.
Lee, who earned her first career win on the LPGA Tour, carded a 2-under 69 during her final round at Blythefield Country Club to end the tournament at 14-under-par 270.
"I was nervous one hundred percent," Lee said. "First time playoff in LPGA, so I was really nervous, but very fun."
Park, the second- and third-round leader, shot a 1-under 70 to also end at 14- under.
Suzann Pettersen (69) finished in third place at 13-under, while Haru Nomura (68) took fourth at minus-10.
Sandra Gal (66), Amy Yang (68) and Line Vedel (70) shared fifth at 9-under 275.
Park almost put a quick end to the playoff when the two players returned to the 18th for the first extra hole and she nearly holed her second shot. The ball had too much pace, however, and bounced out of the hole, settling about 15 feet away.
Lee found the front of the green with her approach and neither could convert a lengthy birdie putt.
They moved to the 17th hole for the second playoff, where Lee's tee shot settled in the face of a greenside bunker. Park split the fairway off the tee and played her second to about 20 feet.
Lee then blasted to five feet and after Park lipped out her birdie effort, Lee rolled in hers to claim the win.
"I feel I hit a good putt, but it just didn't go in," Park said about the playoff. "The putter just wasn't there, so nice to shoot under par, but Mirim played well in the playoff holes."
Pettersen had earlier opened her final round with back-to-back birdies at the first and second to join Park at 13-under, but Park answered with a birdie at the first to reclaim sole possession of the lead.
After Park pulled two strokes clear with a gain at the third, Pettersen converted an eagle at the fifth to meet Park at 15-under.
Pettersen then bogeyed the sixth to hand Park the outright lead.
Lee, meanwhile, had started the day a stroke behind Park before falling to 11- under with a bogey at the second.
She would get that shot back with a birdie at the fifth, and then picked up a couple more strokes with birdies at the eighth and 11th to join Pettersen at 14-under. Soon after, Pettersen bogeyed the 13th to fall two shots off the pace and leave Lee alone in second.
Pettersen rebounded with a birdie at the 15th to move back to 14-under, and she was given a share of the lead when Park bogeyed the 14th.
Lee would trade a bogey at the 14th with a birdie at the 15th to make it a three-way tie atop the leaderboard before Pettersen bogeyed the 16th to leave Lee and Park at minus-14.
Pettersen parred her final two holes to finish at 13-under.
Lee and Park traded pars at the 16th and 17th to head to the 18th still tied at 14-under. Both had lengthy birdie putts at the last, but neither could convert and each 2-putted for par to force the playoff.
NOTES: Lee collected $225,000 with the win, which will move her to eighth on the tour's money list at $414,135 ... Lee is the first player to capture their maiden victory in a playoff since Amy Yang did so at the 2013 LPGA KEB- HanaBank Championship ... Park earned her 10th top-10 finish of the season, including a win at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic ... The LPGA travels to New York next week for the fourth major of the season, the Wegmans LPGA Championship, where Park will defend her title.
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