Lee defeated Hall of Famer Karrie Webb in a playoff. This a result of Webb three-putting the first hole of sudden death from fifteen feet.
Sophie Gustafson began the final round of the Ginn Tribute with a 6 shot lead. After birdies on the first and third holes, Gustafson was at 20 under and up by seven. If Sophie had played the last 15 holes in 6 over, she would have been in a playoff. Instead she played them in 9 over, which included two back nine double bogeys to finish the tournament with a disasterous 79.
This week is one of those few times I find myself rooting against a player. I just don't like Sophie Gustafson. Her attitude on the course, possible cheating at her last win in 2003, and the sourpuss look on her face just turn me off about this golfer.
Lee's win today may have been appropriate. She was the last South Korean to win on the LPGA Tour, taking the HSBC Match Play in July 2007. The week after that win, and the week before today's triumph, both saw Jeong Jang lose LPGA tournaments in a playoff. Today was Lee's 3rd win in three years on tour and will qualify her for the ADT Championship in November.
Lee is a very unsung player, even when you take into consideration the golf media's tendency not to give the South Koreans their due.(When I was covering the Stanford International in April, a few members of the media were surprised when I said no South Korean had won in 9 months) Seon Hwa coasted to the 2006 Rookie of the Year award, over the much more heralded Ai Miyazato and media darling Morgan Pressel. Look at this blog post of mine, and note how a golf writer couldn't be bothered to pen the name Seon Hwa Lee. Lee has topped Pressel(and the still winless Miyazato) in wins, top 10s, top three finishes, money, and stroke average since they both came on tour. Morgan has a major, but her career was been disappointing to date. Until her 2nd place finish in New Jersey two weeks ago, Morgan had been stinking up the tour(Missed cuts three weeks in a row) for most of 2008. Don't expect any talk of Lee being a top 5 player by the golf media, in spite of the fact she is that on this year's money list and last year's. Ask golf writers to list their top 10 LPGA players right now, I don't think more than 3 in ten would list Lee in the top 10. On the other hand 3 or more would list Pressel, in spite of Seon Hwa having the better record. Want proof? Read this post of mine and check where Lee and Pressel are ranked.
Lee will keep on winning LPGA tournaments. Sooner or later the golf media will give Seon Hwa her due. At least I think they will.
Update- One note and a clarification.
Webb has been to playoffs four times against one of the South Korean ladies. Three times against Se Ri Pak, and then today's playoff. Karrie Webb has lost each and every time.
I'm not saying Lee is a top-five player. Top 10 yes. I am however saying her record is much stronger than Pressel's, who people are much more likely to rank than Seon Hwa.