Watch ANA Inspiration champ Mirim Lee make this amazing 72nd-hole eagle chip en route to victory
We’ve heard of golfers getting hot with a putter to win a major championship title, but getting hot with a wedge?
That Mirim Lee found her way into a three-way playoff at the ANA Inspiration on Sunday—which she would win with a birdie on the first extra hole—came largely thanks for some heroics with her wedges after holing out for birdie or eagle three times during her final-round 67 at Mission Hills C.C.
It began on the sixth hole, when Lee, one under on the day and three off the lead, chipped in from roughly 30 feet off the green. She's a pro golfer, and pro golfers make chip-in birdies, so you didn't think much of it in the moment.
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Now at 12 under, Lee hung around the leader board heading into the back nine, never out of hunt in what was shaping into a two-player clash between Nelly Korda and Brooke Henderson, but not necessarily applying any pressure on the two either.
Until, that is she got to the 16th hole. Again Lee, now 13 under, missed the green with her approach, but pulled out a wedge and did this:
With no spectators on the course (friends and family were allowed to follow the action), there were no boisterous cheers to let Korda and Henderson what was happening ahead.
While Lee got within one of the lead for the first time during the afternoon, her chances of winning seemed to be lost on the 17th hole when she made her lone bogey of the round to go back to 13 under, Korda sitting at 15 under one group behind Lee.
But then on the par-5 18th hole, Lee pulled off more heroics. After finding the fairway, she hit her second shot long left, the ball heading over the green only to bounce off a wall tournament officials had built behind the green to replicate the grandstand on that was traditionally in place on the hole in past events—to the chagrin of some players and commentators, including Judy Rankin, given how it prevent the water behind the green from coming into play.
It was a lucky break as Lee got to take a drop from the temporary immovable obstruction, leaving her with a chip from 65 feet for eagle. Sure enough, Lee took out a wedge and well … take a guess at what happens next:
Too bad there were no fans to roar as the ball found the bottom of the hole. The response would have been amazing, for sure. The eagle-3 jumped Lee to 15 under, and when Korda parred the last hole and Henderson made birdie, it set up the playoff.
Interestingly in the playoff, Lee had another eagle chip from just behind the green. This one didn’t fall in, but stopped five feet from the hole, allowing a conventional birdie putt to secure the title.