Sept 13 (Reuters) - South Korea’s Mirim Lee eagled her final hole of regulation to force a three-way playoff with American Nelly Korda and Canadian Brooke Henderson at the ANA Inspiration on Sunday, then birdied the first extra hole to walk off with a maiden LPGA major title.
It was a wild finish on a scorching hot afternoon in Rancho Mirage which ended with Lee taking the winner’s traditional cool plunge into Poppy’s Pond that rings the 18th hole at Mission Hills Country Club.
Korda, who had led after every round, had looked poised to claim a first major victory when she stepped onto the 18th tee with a one shot lead but a few minutes later found herself in playoff.
As Korda prepared to tee off on the last hole of regulation, ahead of her on the par-five 18th, Lee was chipping in from off the green for an eagle and a final round five-under 67 to join the American at 15-under.
Henderson would follow with a birdie at the last for a three-under 69 while Korda could do no better than par, also for 69.
Back on 18th for the first playoff hole Lee once again relied on her wedge chipping to within five feet and making a nervy putt for birdie with Henderson and Korda both carding pars. (Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto. Editing by Lincoln Feast)
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