Ihana Lee, 22, won the Higuchi Hisakomitsubishi Electric Ladies (¥100 million) on the Japan Ladies Professional Golf (JLPGA) Tour in a playoff for her first career victory.
Lee shot a 5-under 67 in the final round of the tournament on Monday at Musashioka Golf Course (par-72, 6650 yards) in Saitama Prefecture, Japan, to finish with a 9-under 207 total and force a playoff with Yuka Nishii and Miyu Yamashita. She birdied the first hole of the extra session, the 510-yard par-5 18th, to claim her dream victory.
On the final day of the three-round, 54-hole event, Ihana started in a tie for eighth place but got off to a good start with a birdie on the first hole. She then added birdies on the seventh and ninth to move into the lead. In the second half, she birdied the par-3 15th to take the lead and then added a birdie on the final hole to seal the win with a flawless performance.
Lee, from Incheon, joined the Japan Women’s Tour through the 2020 Protégé program and posted three wins on the second-tier Step Up Tour. Last year, she joined the first division but didn’t win, and this year, her second year on the tour, it finally paid off. This year, she has already played 33 tournaments with four top-10 finishes and is ranked 17th on the money list, so she was ready for her first win.
Meanwhile, Yamashita, who started the day in second place, cut two strokes to force a playoff but was unable to capitalize and missed out on his fifth win of the season. Nishii went into overtime with three strokes to spare and was looking for her first win of the year but will have to wait until next time. Fumika Kawagishi finished in a tie for fourth (8-under par), while Sunwoo Bae shot 2-under par to finish in a tie for ninth (5-under par).
This gives the South Koreans three wins this season to Shin’s two. Thirty-nine South Korean players have won 237 JLPGA Tour events since 1985, when Koo Ok-hee, a founding member of Korean women’s golf, won her first JLPGA Tour event. Next week, the U.S. Women’s Professional Golf (LPGA) Tour’s TOTO Japan Classic will be held in Japan, where the Koreans are expected to continue their winning ways. 짱구카지노