Inbee Park took a one-stroke lead into the final round of the Meijer LPGA Classic on Sunday, but her one-under-par 69 was not enough to hold off LPGA Tour rookie Mirim Lee.
Lee from South Korea said in her post-round interview,
“Inbee Park is like hero in Korea, so I just long to (be) her, yeah, think I just follow her.”
With four birdies and two bogeys on her card on Sunday, Lee did not do much following.
She was able to catch Park and the two players finished the regulation 72 holes tied at 14-under-par for the tournament.
Lee said about her first LPGA Tour playoff,
“I nervous 100 percent, because first time playoff on LPGA Tour, so I’m really nervous, but very fun.”
Both Lee and Park made pars on the first playoff hole, but Lee was able to birdie the second for the win.
This was just Lee’s second top-10 finish of the year. The $225,000 first-place check gives Lee $445,000 in total earnings for the year and she moves to No. 18 in the Race to the CME Globe. If not for Lydia Ko, she would be a contender for LPGA Tour Rookie of the Year honors.
Former world No.1 Park won earlier this season at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic and has 10 top-10 finishes this year. She is No. 4 in the Race to the CME Globe and No. 3 in the Rolex Rankings.
Blythefield Country Club proved to be a great venue for the Meijer LPGA Classic. It is a wonderful combination of rolling terrain, deep bunkering and challenging green complexes. The fairways are somewhat forgiving, but it is definitely an advantage to keep your ball on the short grass.
Larger crowds than expected streamed through the turnstiles and perfect weather made watching the best women golfers in the world a true delight for Michigan golf fans.
(This article is also posted at edraft.com)