The LPGA’s 2nd major of the year brought us out to Rancho Mirage, California to the “Masters of the LPGA” the ANA Inspiration! Women’s golfers from around the world poured into Mission Hills Country Club to try and do the illustrious jump into Poppie’s Pond.
And boy, this year did not disappoint! The final round of the tournament included a face-off between two of the brightest stars in the sport today: Nelly Korda and Brooke Henderson. Both of them came in at 12 under par to start the day, and it looked like this was going to be an absolute shootout between the two.
That was, until, one of the greatest chips in ANA Inspiration history occurred.
Just like that, out of NOWHERE, Mirim Lee was tied with Nelly Korda for the lead. Korda would par the 18th and Henderson would birdie, making this a 3-way tie for the lead. And back to the 18th tee we went!
Korda again struggled off the tee, going left and plugging into the rough. Lee did what she had done on her last play: she hit it through the green, and chipped on for a birdie putt. After both Henderson and Korda tapped in for Par, Lee hit her five-foot putt in for birdie and won the event.
Now there was a little bit of controversy around the backstop on the 18th hole. Many people thought it shouldn’t be there, and the players absolutely took advantage of it. Overall, I didn’t think it was a competitive advantage, as all players were allowed to use the backstop. In the end, Lee took advantage of it, and won the tournament.
And, of course, a big celebration and jump into Poppie’s Pond for Lee and her caddie!
This was Mirim Lee’s first major championship victory and fourth victory overall on the LPGA Tour. Along with a nice victory check of $465,000, Lee keps her exemptions on the LPGA tour for 5 years. Hats off to Mirim Lee and the LPGA for an unforgettable event!