On September 13, 2020, Lee Mi-rim won the ANA Inspiration in shocking style, contributing to hawk at the 72nd gap and beating her opponents Brooke Henderson and Nelly Korda with a birdie at the principal season finisher gap.
With a final round of five-under-par of 67, Lee, a 29-year-old player, gained her first-ever major triumph that consisted of chip-ins — two of them for birdie — on the Mission Hills course in Rancho Mirage, California.
Lee was able to join on 15-under par of 273, along with Korda and Henderson– who simultaneously shared the overnight lead and both checked on the last round 69s.
Who had been leading or shared the lead after every of the first three rounds of the competition, it was such a heart-rending defeat for an American 22-year-old player, Korda.
Aspiring for a first major title, Korda had been leading the two shots with four to play and had led a one-stroke over her playing partner Henderson as they had walked off the 17th green.
But to advance in the competition, Lee was playing the par-five 18th.
Before a bogey at 17 appeared to put her out of contention, Lee had holed out from long range for birdie at 16.
But that was changed when Lee’s chip from off the green at 18 raced to the hole, hit the flagstick, and dropped in.
Before officially taking the traditional championship to leap into Poopies, Lee said as she was wiping away her tears that she couldn’t believe that she made it.
The usual date of the tournament is played in balmy April, but due to the 2019 coronavirus pandemic, the game was rescheduled and played without fans.
Lee said in a statement that, to be honest, she felt like she must be a bit crazy for winning, and for having gained the victory, and she thought that she would be able to feel the taste of her triumph once she met her family and reunited with them. She claimed her fourth-time LPGA victory and her first-ever since the 2017 Kia Classic.
Additionally, she said that she’s a bit disappointed having the bogey on 17, so for 18 she planned just to have a birdie and did everything that needed to be done to keep her head up. And that she was really surprised when the shot was able to go in.
For Lee, it must have been a bit of luck that helped her win the playoffs.
On the back nine, it was Henderson and Korda who had traded the lead, but a double-bogey at the 13th made Henderson fall back.
It was a rough off on the tee at the 72nd hole for both Henderson and Korda. With Korda’s circumstance, she was forced to lay up and had to come away with a par.
At 18, Henderson’s second shot into the green rolled under the “wall” of fabric-covered scaffolding set up right alongside the green.
Henderson’s ball was pulled out and she had gotten up and down for birdie to join the playoff and the trio to return to the 18th tee.
Trouble off the tee
Again, it was rough on the way to par for Korda.
Both Henderson and Lee have found the fairway, however, they’ve missed the green, Henderson was not able to get a birdie putt to drop whilst Lee was able to chip to five feet and finally made it.
Korda in a statement said that she played a solid game, who was able to be the fourth player to lead after the first three rounds but wasn’t able to bring home the title. She added that she had a couple of bogeys kind of at the beginning on the back nine, but she kept herself calm.
She also said that she didn’t hit twice a really good shot on 18 off the tee, so that’s what kind of trouble she got herself during the game.
Henderson, who had missed the cut at the Women’s British Open for about three weeks ago, had been looking forward to bouncing back with a second major title to go with her 2016 Women’s PGA Championship crown.
She said in a statement that she’s definitely played really well in the competition, which brought a really nice feeling to her and gave her the confidence to move forward.
Moreover, she said that her rival Mi-rim had played a great game, and so did her other competitors, Nelly. Henderson said it was a fun game but as well as tough for her to lose that way.
Henderson admitted on her statement that she felt like she had missed so many putts, especially during the final round of the game where she felt it might have been a different story.