Jeongeun Lee6 is No. 1 at the U.S. Women’s Open.
The 23-year-old South Korean shot a 1-under 70 on Sunday in Charleston, South Carolina, enduring some shaky moments after opening up a three-stroke lead with three to play to hold off third-round co-leader Celine Boutier.
Lee6 was ahead by three after a birdie on the par-5 15th, but bogeyed the 16th and 18th to give Boutier a chance over the final two holes. But Boutier missed a long birdie attempt on the 17th and put her approach to the par-4 18th in a bunker. Her sand shot rolled off the green.
Lee6, playing two groups ahead of Boutier, was practicing putts when the Frenchwoman could not make the sand shot. Lee6 bent down in joy, with countrywoman and 2011 U.S. Women’s Open winner So Yeon Ryu coming over to embrace the new major champion.
Lee6 finished at, naturally, 6-under 278 to claim the USGA’s first $1 million women’s winner check a few days after Tiger Woods’ former swing coach, Hank Haney, made disparaging remarks about women’s golf by predicting a “Korean” would win and “I’d go with Lee.”
Lee6 has the number in her name because she was the sixth player with the name on the Korean LPGA. She has embraced the number, answering to it and writing a large “6” on her balls. Her South Korean fan club is called “Lucky 6.” Jeongeun Lee5 also plays on the LPGA Tour.
Starting four shots behind, Patrick Cantlay closed with an 8-under 64 for a two-shot victory at the Memorial in Dublin, Ohio.
It was the lowest final round by a winner in tournament history, and it moved the 27-year-old Californian into the top 10 in the world.
Martin Kaymer, trying to end five years without a victory, started with a two-shot lead and never recovered from back-to-back bogeys on the back nine. He shot 38 on the back nine and finished with a 72.
Adam Scott was the last player with a chance to catch Cantlay when he ran off three straight birdies to get within two shots, but he narrowly missed birdies on the last two holes and had to settle for a 68.
Cantlay finished at 19-under 269 and won for the second time in a PGA Tour career that is younger than it seems.
PGA Tour Champions
Kevin Sutherland birdied the second hole of a playoff with Scott Parel at Wakonda Club to win the Principal Charity Classic in the third-largest comeback in PGA Tour Champions history.
Two months after outlasting Parel on the seventh extra hole in Mississippi, Sutherland overcame an eight-shot deficit in the final round, making eight back-nine birdies in a course-record 10-under 62 to match Parel at 17-under 199.
Parel closed with a 70. They broke the tournament record of 15 under set by Scott McCarron three years ago.
Parel bogeyed the par-5 15th and missed a 10-foot birdie try on No. 18 in regulation. They each parred the first playoff hole.
The 54-year-old Sutherland won for the third time on the 50-and-over tour after winning once on the PGA Tour. He’s the only player to shoot 59 on the tour, accomplishing the feat in the 2014 Dick’s Sporting Goods Open.
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