HAINAN, China — Minjee Lee got up-and-down one last time at Jian Lake on Sunday to win the Blue Bay LPGA for her second victory of the year and third in two seasons.
The 20-year-old Australian chipped to 3 feet from the front runoff area on the par-5 18th for her winning birdie, forcing Jessica Korda to make an 18-footer for eagle from just off the back of the green to get into a playoff. Korda missed to the left.
“It was a good fight out there, and I fought to the end,” Lee said.
Ariya Jutanugarn tied Lee with a 2-stroke swing on the par-3 17th, then hooked her 3-wood drive into the water on 18 to end her chances for a tour-high sixth victory.
“I knew that I had a good opportunity, but I wasn’t getting ahead of myself,” Lee said. “I knew Jess was going to make birdie — was probably going to make birdie — and so I thought to myself, ‘I need to make birdie here.’ I just put myself in good spots and then I ended up making birdie. Just stuck to my game plan.”
Lee rebounded after losing a 6-stroke lead Saturday, closing with a 2-under 70 in hot and humid conditions to finish at 13-under 275.
Korda had a 71. Jutanugarn shot 70, her closing bogey leaving her 2 strokes back.
Five days after Typhoon Sarika blew through the South China Sea beach resort, the wind jumped up on the final holes, making it more difficult to hit the valleys and plateaus on the large greens.
“It played like a totally different golf course,” Korda said. “It wasn’t the same as every day. The golf course conditions were a lot harder today. Some greens were slow and there were some greens that were fast. All in all, it was a tough day out there.”