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Mi Hyang Lee wins playoff in Mizuno Classic
November 09, 2014

Interviews:
Rolex Rankings No. 75 Mi Hyang Lee (-11)*
Rolex Rankings No. 58 Ilhee Lee (-11)
Rolex Rankings No. 121 Kotono Kozuma (-11)

Mi Hyang Lee stuffed her 3-hybrid approach shot from 190-yards on the fifth playoff hole to tap-in range for a birdie and victory at the Mizuno Classic.

“It was my first playoff ever so before I started the playoff I was a little nervous,” Lee admitted. “I just kept playing and made pars and birdies and the other players played really good. It was exciting when I made the last putt.”

Lee, who becomes the seventh Rolex First Time Winner on the LPGA this season, outlasted past LPGA winner Ilhee Lee and Kotono Kozuma of the JLPGA to claim the win.

“I won on the LET in February in New Zealand and that gave me a lot of confidence,” Mi Hyang Lee explained. “It’s pretty quick, this is only my second year out here. I think every tournament is a good experience for me and today was pretty great for me because I didn’t think I could win this tour- nament yet.”

The trio pared the first two playoff holes before an exciting third playoff hole saw all three competitors make long birdie putts with the shortest being Mi Hyang Lee’s at 25 feet to keep the three-person playoff rolling.

“My caddie said you can make it because you saw the line on Kotono’s putt and that gave me confidence that I could make it,” Mi Hyang said. “I hit it confident and tried to make it but I didn’t think that I could make that putt so it was amazing. If I didn’t make it I think it would have gone past by two yards so there was some luck.”

The group exchanged pars again on the 4th playoff hole before Mi Hyang delivered the dagger 3-hybrid and tapped in for her victory.

The celebration will be short for Mi Hyang however as she is off to Mexico on Monday morning for the Lorena Ochoa Invitational, her seventh tournament in the past seven weeks.

“I have two more tournaments. I just want to keep playing,” Mi Hyang said. “If I keep playing well, I’ll qualify for all of the Majors maybe so I want to keep playing. I have a lot of confidence now that I won an LPGA Tournament.”

The trio went into the playoff tied at 11-under, 205, a stroke clear of a group of nine players who finished at 10-under, including Karrie Webb, Dame Laura Davies, Morgan Pressel and Jessica Korda.

Ilhee Lee comes up just shy in search for win #2: Ilhee Lee’s will have to wait at least another week to climb into the winner’s circle for the second time on the LPGA after she came up just short on the firth playoff hole.

“I wasn’t really nervous and was able to play like I had for the last two days. 18 is one of the hardest holes on the course and I thought if I kept scoring par the other two would make mistakes at some stage. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. They both played really well.”

Kotono Kozuma is low JLPGA player: Kotono Kozuma was the third member of the playoff and the lone representative of the JLPGA. With the fans in her corner, Kozuma looked for her first win but fell to Mi Hyang Lee on the firth playoff hole.

“It is frustrating but I gave it my all. It just means I need to improve technically,” Kozuma said.

For a brief moment, it looked like Kozuma was going to give the Japanese fans their first LPGA winner since Mika Mi- yazato in 2012, but her 40 foot birdie putt was matched by both of her playing competitors.

“I actually expected them to make them< Kozuma said. “There was no disappointment. I was thinking positively and got myself geared up for the next round.”

Race to CME Globe Projections: Following the Mizuno Classic here is how things stand in the chase for the final spots in the Race to CME Globe.

The top-72 and ties in the Race to the CME Globe standings after next week’s Lorena Ochoa Invitational will be in the field for the season ending CME Group Tour Championship.

For more information on the Race to the CME Globe please watch this video.

Player
Projected Rank
Current Rank
Change
Sydnee Michaels
67
71
+4
Dewi Claire Schreefel
68
66
-2
Marina Alex
68
69
+1
Dori Carter
70
67
-3
Candie Kung
71
69
-2
Laura Diaz
72
72
-
Ji Young Oh
73
73
-
Laura Davies
73
89
+16
Kris Tamulis
75
74
-1

Eagles for a cause:
This weekend, five total eagles were recorded by Stacy Lewis, Paula Reto, Jessica Korda, Saiki Fujita and Mirim Lee which brings the total money raised this year to $275,000. The CME Group’s donation to the Wounded Warrior Project for weekend eagles has now reached $275,000.

Wounded Warrior Project® Weekends is a season-long charity program that will be tied into the Race to the CME Globe. Each Saturday and Sunday at LPGA tournaments, CME Group will donate $1,000 to Wounded Warrior Project® for each eagle that is recorded. This amount will increase to $5,000 for each eagle during the weekend of the CME Group Tour Championship and a formal check will be presented to the Wounded War­rior Project® during the trophy ceremony at the CME Group Tour Championship. To get involved and learn more, visit woundedwarriorproject.org.

Numbers to know:
44 - Mi Hyang Lee hit 44/54 greens on the week (81.5 percent) second highest in the field behind Morgan Pressel
5 - The three played five playoff holes before a winner was decided. It marks the longest playoff on the LPGA since a 9 hole playoff at the 2012 Kingsmill Championship
-4 - The three competitors played the par-4 18th, which played over par for the week, in a combined, bogey-free, 4-under for five playoff holes
9 - 9 golfers finished a mere one shot out of the playoff
11 and 12 - The par-3 11th and par-4 12th played as the hardest holes on course at 3.154 and 4.154 respectively. Mi Hyang Lee played those holes in 1-under for the week
13 - The par-5 13th played as the easiest holes on the course at 4.500, Mi Hyang Lee played the hole in Even par for the week

Quote of the day:“I was like finally I can go. It was a very happy moment for me that I won but I thought just finally I can go.”

Click here for final scores & prize money.

INTERVIEWS

Rolex Rankings No. 75 Mi Hyang Lee (-11)

On the playoff: “It was my first playoff ever so before I started the playoff I was a little nervous. I just kept playing and made pars and birdies and the other players played really good. It was exciting when I made the last putt. I was just thinking I can go now so I was happy.”

On what she felt after making the putt: “I was like finally I can go. It was a very happy moment for me that I won but I thought just finally I can go.”

On her shot to set up the winning birdie: “When I hit the shot I had a lot of confidence so it felt good and then I saw the ball flying and it was pretty good. I thought it was going to be a little over the pin but it wasn’t.”

On her long par putt to extend the playoff: “My caddie said you can make it because you saw the line on Kotono’s putt and that gave me confidence that I could make it. I hit it confident and tried to make it but I didn’t think that I could make that putt so it was amazing. If I didn’t make it I think it would have gone past by two yards so there was some luck.”

On getting her first LPGA win: “I won on the LET in February in New Zealand and that gave me a lot of confidence. It’s pretty quick, this is only my second year out here. I think every tournament is a good experience for me and today was pretty great for me be- cause I didn’t think I could win this tournament yet.”

On her plans for the rest of the season: “I have two more tournaments. I just want to keep playing. If I keep playing well, I’ll qualify for all of the Majors maybe so I want to keep playing. I’m more confident. After I won, I’m more confident. I have a lot of confidence now that I won an LPGA Tournament.”

Rolex Rankings No. 58 Ilhee Lee (-11)

On the playoff: “I wasn’t really nervous and was able to play like I had for the last two days. 18 is one of the hardest holes on the course and I thought if I kept scoring par the other two would make mistakes at some stage. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. They both played really well.”

On her performance at the tournament: “I’d say the only regret would be the final hole of the playoff. Everything else went well for me. I played well. It’s been a good week except for that final hole.”

Rolex Rankings No. 121 Kotono Kozuma

On how she felt about her finish: “It is frustrating but I gave it my all. It just means I need to improve technically.”

On how she felt when both players made birdie after her on the third playoff hole

“I actually expected them to. There was no disappointment. I was thinking positively and got myself geared up for the next round.”

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