Mirim Lee beats Inbee Park in playoff for Meijer title

By Associated PressAugust 11, 2014, 12:01 am

BELMONT, Mich. - Mirim Lee won the Meijer LPGA Classic on Sunday for her first LPGA victory, beating fellow South Korean player Inbee Park with a birdie on the second hole of a playoff.

''I (was) nervous 100 percent,'' Lee said. ''First time in playoff. Inbee Park is like a hero in Korea and all the young girls want to be her now in Korea.''

The long-hitting Lee drove into greenside bunker on the second extra hole - the short par-4 17th - and blasted out to 5 feet. After Park's 15-foot birdie try lipped out, Lee holed her putt for the victory.

They each parred the 18th to open the playoff. Park's approach shot hit the cup on the way past and she missed a 15-foot birdie try. Lee two-putted from 35 feet.

The 23-year-old Lee, an LPGA rookie, closed with a 2-under 69 to match Park at 14-under 270 at Blythefield Country Club. Park, a 10-time tour winner, finished with a 70.



Lee is projected to jump to 29th in the world ranking. She earned $225,000 to jump from 40th to eighth on the money list with $414,135. Her previous best was a second-place finish in Phoenix in March.

Norway's Suzann Pettersen was a stroke back after a 69.

Park said the win will give Lee great confidence.

''I think she was kind of, you know, thinking about whether she should come to the LPGA or whether she should stay in KLPGA,'' Park said. ''but I think this will definitely make her see she made a good decision.''

Park said in the end the new blade putter she put in the bag this week let her down in the last round.

''I felt I hit a good putt, but it just didn't go in,'' she said of the final birdie attempt. ''The putter just wasn't there. It was nice to shoot under par, but Mirim played well in the playoff holes.''

Pettersen, seeking her first win this year after 14 in her career, said she just didn't hit enough good shots or drives on the back nine in the final round.

''It's nice to get four solid rounds of competition in,'' she said. ''I've struggled this year, but it is coming. Disappointed to be one short, but it was nice to be back in contention straight after a three-week break.''

With three holes to play, Park, Pettersen and Lee were tied for the lead at 14 under, but Pettersen had tree and sand troubles and made a bogey at 16 to fall a shot behind.

Park and Lee each missed birdie chances at the 17th. On the 18th, Lee two-putted for par from 40 feet, and Park made a 6-foot par putt.

Pettersen, who was playing in the group in front of Park for the day, birdied the first two holes and eagled the par-5 fifth - hitting a 3-wood shot to 6 feet - to tie Park at 15 under.

Lee birdied the par-5 11th to pull within a shot of Park.

After 10 consecutive pars, Park three-putted the par-3 14th for a bogey. It happened about the same time Pettersen was punching a shot from the trees to 8 feet at 15 to set up a birdie and another tie.

Lee, trailing most of the day by a shot or two, then joined Park and Pettersen at 14 under with a 5-foot birdie putt at 15.

Japan's Haru Nomura was fourth at 10 under after a 68. Germany's Sandra Gal, the first-round leader, was another stroke back after a 66.

Top-ranked Stacy Lewis had her best round of the week with a 66 to tie for 11th at 6 under.

The tournament was the first LPGA event in Michigan since 2000 when the Oldsmobile Classic in East Lansing ended its nine-year run.

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Expired visa, helicopter, odd clubs all part of Vegas' journey

By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 3:48 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jhonattan Vegas thought someone was playing a practical joke on him.

Or maybe he was stuck in the middle of a horror movie.

Scheduled to leave for The Open a week ago, he didn’t arrive at Carnoustie until a little more than an hour before his first-round tee time Thursday.

“Even if somebody tried to do that on purpose,” he said, “you couldn’t really do it.”

The problem was an expired visa.

Vegas said that he must have gotten confused by the transposed date on the visa – “Guessing I’ve been living in America too long” – and assumed that he was cleared to travel.

No problem, he was told. He’d have a new visa in 24 hours.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Except the consulate in New York didn’t respond to his application the next day, keeping him in limbo through the weekend. Then, on Monday, he was told that he’d applied for the wrong visa. UPS got shut down in New York and his visa never left, so Vegas waited in vain for seven hours in front of the consulate in Houston. He finally secured his visa on Wednesday morning, boarded a flight from Houston to Toronto, and then flew to Glasgow, the final leg of a 14-hour journey.

His agent arranged a helicopter ride from Glasgow to Carnoustie to ensure that he could make his 10:31 a.m. (local) tee time.

One more issue? His clubs never made it. They were left back in Toronto.

His caddie, Ruben Yorio, scrambled to put together a new bag, with a mismatched set of woods, irons, wedges and putter.

“Luckily the (equipment) vans are still here,” Vegas said. “Otherwise I probably would have played with members’ clubs today.”

He hit about 20 balls on the range – “Luckily they were going forward” – but Carnoustie is one of the most challenging links in the world, and Vegas was working off of two hours’ sleep and without his own custom-built clubs. He shot 76 but, hey, at least he tried.

“It was fun,” he said, “even though the journey was frustrating.”

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'Brain fart' leads to Spieth's late collapse

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:44 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The closing stretch at Carnoustie has famously ruined many a solid round, so Jordan Spieth’s misadventures on Thursday should not have been a complete surprise, but the truth is the defending champion’s miscues were very much self-inflicted.

Spieth was cruising along at 3 under par, just two shots off the early lead, when he made a combination of errors at the par-4 15th hole. He hit the wrong club off the tee (4-iron) and the wrong club for his approach (6-iron) on his way to a double bogey-6.

“The problem was on the second shot, I should have hit enough club to reach the front of the green, and even if it goes 20 yards over the green, it's an easy up-and-down,” Spieth said. “I just had a brain fart, and I missed it into the location where the only pot bunker where I could actually get in trouble, and it plugged deep into it. It was a really, really poor decision on the second shot, and that cost me.”


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Spieth continued to compound his problems with a sloppy bogey at the 16th hole, and a drive that sailed left at 18 found the Barry Burn en route to a closing bogey and a 1-over 72.

The miscues were more mental, a lack of execution, than they were an example of how difficult the closing stretch at Carnoustie can be, and that’s not good enough for Spieth.

“That's what I would consider as a significant advantage for me is recognizing where the misses are,” said Spieth, who was tied for 68th when he completed his round. “It felt like a missed opportunity.”

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Perez: R&A does it right, 'not like the USGA'

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:28 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Pat Perez didn’t even attempt to hide his frustration with the USGA at last month’s U.S. Open, and after an opening-round 69 at The Open, he took the opportunity to double down on his displeasure.

“They (the R&A) do it right, not like the USGA,” Perez said of the setup at Carnoustie. “They've got the opposite [philosophy] here. I told them, you guys have it right, let the course get baked, but you've got the greens receptive. They're not going to run and be out of control. They could have easily had the greens just like the fairway, but they didn't. The course is just set up perfect.”


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Concerns at Shinnecock Hills reached a crescendo on Saturday when the scoring average ballooned to 75.3 and only three players broke the par of 70. Of particular concern for many players, including Perez, were some of the hole locations, given how fast and firm the greens were.

“The U.S. Open could have been like this more if they wanted to. They could have made the greens a bit more receptive,” Perez said. “These greens are really flat compared to Shinnecock. So that was kind of the problem there is they let it get out of control and they made the greens too hard.”