About Us Contact Us Advertise Newsletter

Golf tournaments, events, majors

Golf Today > Tour Schedules > 2008 > LPGA > NW Arkansas Championship > Round 3


Seon Hwa Lee secures narrow victory

After a weekend of optimal scoring conditions, Seon Hwa Lee made one birdie on the back nine in the final round.

That was enough.

Lee birdied the final hole for a one-stroke victory over Jane Park and Meena Lee on Sunday in the LPGA Tour’s NW Arkansas Championship. Seon Hwa Lee closed with a 4-under 68 to finish at 15-under 201.

Meena Lee (70) led by a stroke before coming up short of the green on the par-3 17th. Her chip was long, and she missed a par putt from about 10 feet.

Seon Hwa Lee, playing in the group just ahead, hit her approach on No. 18 within 3 feet, setting up a birdie that she thought might put her in a playoff.

“When I was on the green, I saw the scoreboard. She was 15 under and through 16th hole,” Seon Hwa Lee said. “I didn’t know she made bogey on 17.”

Meena Lee had a chance to tie on 18, but missed a 15-foot birdie putt.

The weather was a factor for much of the weekend, delaying play Friday and Saturday. Players took advantage of a course softened by rain. Angela Park shot a 62 in the second round Saturday, equaling the lowest round on the LPGA Tour this year.

Jane Park matched that performance Sunday. Her 62 pulled her into a five-way tie for first at 14 under, although the other four players all had at least nine holes to play, and she didn’t expect her score to hold up.

“Scoring conditions are absolutely pristine out there right now,” Jane Park said after coming off the course. “There’s a lot of birdie holes out there.”

Sunday was a clear day, however, and the temperature reached around 90 degrees. The conditions appeared to wear players down as the afternoon progressed. Jane Park ended up keeping the clubhouse lead until Seon Hwa Lee finished.

“It was a really tough day,” Seon Hwa Lee said. “The weather was really hard.”

Kristy McPherson (70) finished in a four-way tie for fourth at 13 under. She led at 15 under when her approach on the 14th landed short in a bunker. Her next shot went past the opposite edge of the green, and she fell a stroke behind with a double bogey.

Karen Stupples (66), Ai Miyazato (68) and Angela Park (70) joined McPherson at 13 under. U.S. Women’s Open champion Inbee Park (70) finished at 11 under.

Seon Hwa Lee birdied the first hole, then holed out a 45-yard wedge on No. 7 for an eagle. Her pitch landed short of the pin before rolling downhill at a gentle speed and falling in.

“I tried to shoot a 30-yard shot,” she said. “When I hit it, I thought it was perfect and the ball landed just perfect.”

She made 10 consecutive pars after that but remained in contention.

Seon Hwa Lee’s 35 on the back equaled her worst nine-hole score of the tournament, and she didn’t putt all that well toward the end. On No. 16, she missed a birdie putt from around 5 feet—a stroke that could have come back to haunt her.

“I hit pretty close to the pin, but I didn’t make birdies,” she said. “I had a lot of good chances.”

On No. 18, she hit a pitching wedge from 98 yards to the elevated green. The ball landed past the hole but spun back to give her an easy putt.

Meena Lee missed a trickier putt on 17 to give Seon Hwa Lee an opportunity.

“A little bit downhill, little bit tough for me,” Meena Lee said. “It was a good putt, but little bit past.”

Seon Hwa Lee and Meena Lee are both from South Korea. Seon Hwa Lee, 22, won the Ginn Tribute last month. She won the Women’s World Match Play last year.

About half the field, Seon Hwa Lee included, had to arrive early at Pinnacle Country Club to finish the second round Sunday. Rain pushed back the start of the tournament about five hours Friday, and bad weather also caused a shorter delay Saturday.

Last year, the event was shortened to 18 holes because of heavy rain. Stacy Lewis was the leader, but didn’t get credit for an official victory.

Lewis, a former star at the nearby University of Arkansas, shot a 75 Sunday on the 6,238-yard course to finish at 3 under.

The tournament was sponsored by P&G Beauty and presented by John Q. Hammons.


Clubhouse Scores


Golf Today Classifieds


Bookmark page with:
What are these Email This Page Subscribe Follow us on Twitter Top of Page
News Tours Rankings Tuition Course Directory Equipment Asian Travel Notice Board

© Golftoday.co.uk 1996-2014