Sports

Columbia’s Lee wins in Scotland after remarkable final round

Mi Hyang Lee
Mi Hyang Lee USA TODAY

Columbia resident Mi Hyang Lee took advantage of Hall of Famer Karrie Webb’s late double bogey to win the Ladies Scottish Open on Sunday for her second LPGA Tour title.

“I didn’t believe I got a win today,” said Lee, six shots back entering the round, making her comeback win the biggest on the LPGA Tour in 2017. “It was a really surprise for me.”

Originally from South Korea, Lee moved to Columbia to be closer to her coach, Puggy Blackmon, the director of golf for the University of South Carolina, where he previously served as coach.

Lee is a member at Blythewood’s Cobblestone Park Golf Club, the home course and practice facility to the Gamecocks men’s and women’s golf teams. It’s where she met Blackmon, the one-time instructor to PGA Tour stars David Duval and Stewart Cink and also the coach of PGA Tour veteran Kyle Thompson, a USC alum.

“She’s an incredible talent, and it’s fun to me to work with highly motivated players,” Blackmon told The State newspaper in 2014.

The 24-year-old Lee also won the LPGA Tour’s 2014 Mizuno Classic in Japan. On Sunday, Lee shot 6-under 66 to finish at 6-under 282 in the tuneup event for next week’s Women’s British Open.

After playing the front nine in 5-under 31 with six birdies and a bogey, Lee made eight consecutive pars before birdieing the last hole.

“It was really good practice for the British,” said Lee, who received a $225,000 first-place check. “I take a lot of confidence from this win.”

With the win, Lee moved from 34th to 19th on the LPGA Tour Official Money List with $568,013 and increased her career winnings to $2,228,680. She also earned 500 points toward the Race to the CME Globe standings and moved from 43rd to 21st in the race.

In 18 LPGA events this year, Lee has made 13 cuts and has two other top-five finishes.

A stroke ahead of Lee with two holes left at chilly Dundonald Links, Webb dropped a shot back with the double bogey on the par-5 17th after driving into a bunker and having to play out backward.

Needing an eagle to force a playoff with Lee, Webb closed with a birdie to tie for second with Mi Jung Hur.

Webb said she didn’t know she was two strokes behind because of the lack of a leaderboard on the final hole.

“It’s pretty bad to not have a leaderboard on the last,” Webb said. “That’s the first time I’ve ever been (at a tour event) that hasn’t had a leaderboard on 18. … We didn’t know if Mi Hyang had birdied or not, because there wasn’t like a loud cheer like she had.”

Lee also was confused on 18 without a leaderboard, thinking she needed to an eagle to tie Webb.

“I thought she’s going to win, so just I want to make the eagle,” Lee said.

Webb, tied for the third-round lead with Sei Young Kim at 6-under, had 73. Carlota Ciganda (70) and Cristie Kerr (72) tied for fourth at 4 under. Kim (75) tied for sixth at 3 under with Sun Young Yoo (71).

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

  Comments