Australia markets closed
  • ALL ORDS

    7,690.70
    +41.40 (+0.54%)
     
  • AUD/USD

    0.7268
    +0.0007 (+0.09%)
     
  • ASX 200

    7,384.20
    +41.60 (+0.57%)
     
  • OIL

    75.33
    +1.35 (+1.82%)
     
  • GOLD

    1,753.30
    +1.60 (+0.09%)
     
  • BTC-AUD

    59,983.44
    +36.79 (+0.06%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    1,087.10
    -14.41 (-1.31%)
     

Minjee Lee overcomes seven shot deficit to win her first major

·5-min read
Minjee Lee overcomes seven shot deficit to win her first major - Stuart Franklin /Getty Images Europe
Minjee Lee overcomes seven shot deficit to win her first major - Stuart Franklin /Getty Images Europe

A week of records at the Evian Championship finished with history being rewritten when Australian Minjee Lee overcame a seven-shot deficit to win her first major.

In defeating the overnight leader, Korea’s Jeongeun Lee6, on the first extra hole at the French course, Lee emulated her idol, Karrie Webb, and Patty Sheehan with the largest come-from-behind victories in the 91 years of female majors.

It has been quite the month for the Lee family. Three weeks ago Lee’s brother, Min Woo, won the Scottish Open, also in a play-off. “It’s his birthday next week, so we’ll celebrate,” Lee said, before explaining how she recovered all that ground with a 64 for an 18-under total. “I never really thought about the number of shots I was behind. I just tried to make as many birdies as I could. I think I saw the leaderboard maybe once or twice,” she said.

Feel for Lee6. Remarkably, this was the second time this year that a female with a five-shot advantage going into the final round of a major managed to lose after American Lexi Thompson’s collapse at the US Women’s Open.

Credit to the Korean, who, following a wretched front nine of 39, saw American Yealimi Noh zoom past. Lee6 managed to birdie the last three holes for a 71 to force sudden death, only to be denied by Lee, who hit her second to eight feet on the par-five 18th.

Lee had been regarded as one of the best players without a major on the CV and will obviously now be one of the favourites for the female Olympic tournament, which begins a week on Wednesday.

Minjee Lee overcomes seven shot deficit to win her first major - Stuart Franklin /Getty Images Europe
Minjee Lee overcomes seven shot deficit to win her first major - Stuart Franklin /Getty Images Europe

With a 67, Noh came third, while the top-placed Briton was Georgia Hall, the 25-year-old who fired a 64, to finish in a tie for sixth on 13 under.

This was Hall’s best major finish since winning the 2018 Women’s Open and should imbue much confidence as she prepares for Carnoustie. “The first few days were fairly average, but I really made the most of it this weekend with a 66 and 64, and to finish with an eagle made it extra special,” Hall said after holing a 15-footer on the 18th. “Carnoustie is my priority, for sure.”

Alongside Hall was Leona Maguire, recording Ireland’s best finish in a women’s major. Her 61 equalled the best score shot in a major – of either gender – and the best shot by any European – again of either gender – in a major.

“I played here as a 12-year-old and if you’d told me then I’d shoot a 61 here in a major, I would have been amazed,” she said.

There were so many other positives for the former world No 1 amateur to take. She is all but guaranteed a debut in September’s Solheim Cup in Ohio and Europe captain Catriona Matthew will be delighted to have a player in form as her team try to win on US soil for just the second time. Yet before that comes Tokyo.

“Today was about getting a good round, getting momentum for the Olympics,” Maguire said. “It’s funny, there really wasn’t a whole lot of difference between this 61 and the 71 yesterday. I came off the course yesterday feeling like I played great and just didn’t hole any putts. Today they went in. It’s fine margins.”

Stephen Dodd holds off Miguel Angel Jimenez to win Senior Open

Ian Woosnam welcomed Stephen Dodd to Wales’s ultra-exclusive “major winners club” after the 55-year-old lifted the Senior Open title in dramatic style at Sunningdale.

Dodd emulated countryman Brian Huggett’s victory in the event in 1998 with a one-shot win over Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez. Many disagree with the notion that a major in the over-50s division counts as a “proper” major, but Dodd will not be concerned. Especially as Woosnam, who finished 24th, anointed the triumph.

“Another major winner for Wales,” Woosnam, the 1991 Masters champion, said. “Congratulations Stephen Dodd.”

Dodd’s first victory in three years was yet more remarkable in the sense that the three-time European Tour winner had only played one tournament in the previous 18 months. But he shrugged off any rust to make a 10-foot birdie putt on the 18th for a 68 and a 13-under total to fend off Jimenez, the 2008 champion who shot a 65.

Minjee Lee overcomes seven shot deficit to win her first major - Phil Inglis /Getty Images Europe
Minjee Lee overcomes seven shot deficit to win her first major - Phil Inglis /Getty Images Europe

Darren Clarke, the Ulsterman looking to become just the fourth player to complete the Open-Senior double, birdied four of the first eight hole, but a bogey on the 15th sealed his fate and with a 67 for an 11-under total had to be content with third.

As a former winner, Clarke was guaranteed a place in next 150th Open Championship regardless, but now Dodd also gets to take his place at one of the most eagerly awaited majors at St Andrews.

The $750,000 cheque is the biggest so far in a career that was kickstarted by winning the 1989 Amateur Championship - and the same year Welsh Sports Personality of the Year.

“I didn't really have any expectations at the start of the week because, I’d had so little competitive golf in the last few years,” Dodd said. “I just wanted to play well and do myself a bit of justice. I've done a bit more than that. The doors that this re-opens for me at this age are incredible.”

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting