April 29, 2019 / 1:33 AM / 3 months ago

Australia's Lee wins LA Open

FILE PHOTO: Apr 4, 2019; Rancho Mirage, CA, USA; Minjee Lee looks at her shot on the second hole during the first round of the ANA Inspiration golf tournament at Mission Hills CC - Dinah Shore Tournament Course. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

(Reuters) - Australian Minjee Lee claimed her first victory of the season at the LPGA’s LA Open in California on Sunday, finishing four strokes ahead of South Korean Kim Sei-young at Wilshire Country Club.

Lee, who has two runner-up finishes this season and could rise to number two in the world from her current fourth spot, carded a closing 68, punctuating her performance by ramming home a 12-foot birdie putt at the last to finish at 14-under-par 270.

The 22-year-old earned $225,000 for her fifth career LPGA victory, taking her to second on this year’s money list and the Tour’s season-long points Race to the CME Globe.

Only three Australians have more career wins — Karrie Webb (41), Jan Stephenson (16) and Rachel Hetherington (eight).

“The first half of the year I’ve been playing pretty solid. I felt it was close so I feel pretty good with this one,” said Lee.

World number one Ko Jin-young (69), who also leads the money and points standings, finished tied for fifth on eight-under 276.

Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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