It never looked like it was going to be Mi Hyang Lee’s week at the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open. Until it finally was
The craziness began when the 24-year-old from South Korea arrived on Monday at Dundonald Links outside of Troon, but her golf clubs didn’t. She rented a set on Tuesday from the local pro to play a practice round, only to finally get her own sticks on Wednesday.
Things didn’t look much better come Friday night. Sure Lee had made the cut, but she sat at four over, tied for 39th and nine strokes off the lead. A Saturday 68 provided a little solace, but not much as she remained six strokes back of leader Karrie Webb entering the final round.
Come Sunday, however, Lee saw her patience pay off. A closing 66 some how pushed her past Webb and Mi Jung Hur by one stroke to win the championship, an official LPGA stop for the first time in 2017 after being previously being solely a Ladies European Tour event.
“I think the first and second round was, I hit it really good, but just I missed a lot of putts. So I tried to practice my putting with the wind,” said Lee, whose lone previous LPGA title came at the 2014 Mizuno Classic. “I made a lot of putts yesterday, so I took a lot of confidence from yesterday.”
Lee opened with a front-nine 31 on Sunday, catching Webb at the turn. She then made eight straight pars before closing with a birdie on the 18th hole that proved the difference as Lee pulled off the largest comeback in an LPGA event in 2017.
Webb, already a Hall of Famer with 41 career LPGA victories, was looking for her first since the 2014 Founders Cup. With an eagle on the par-5 14th hole on Sunday, the 42-year-old Aussie reclaimed a two-stroke lead on Lee. But then the tournament unraveled. She missed a short par putt on the 16th. Then her drive on the 17th hole found a fairway bunker (the first she hit into all week), eventually leading to a double-bogey 6 to put her one behind. Despite a birdie on 18, Lee’s birdie left Webb, who finished with a Sunday 73, in despair.
“Yeah, very gutted,” Webb said.