Seon Hwa Lee Seon Hwa Lee wins LPGA Tour's HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship

South Korean Seon Hwa Lee defeated 12th-seed Ai Miyazato 2 and 1 yesterday to win the LPGA Tour's HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship at Wykagyl Country Club in New Rochelle, N.Y.

"My putter was working really well this week, all week. I think in match play, putting is really important," Lee told the media.

The win earns the 2006 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year a $500,000 paycheck and a place in the ADT Championship via the second half of the LPGA Playoffs 2007. It is her second LPGA Tour victory, having won the ShopRite LPGA Classic last year.

Lee took an early lead when Miyazato bogeyed the first hole, but the pair were back to all square after the second hole. Lee appeared to seal the match by winning the third and fourth holes to go two up, but Miyazato had equalized by the 11th hole. On No. 15, though, Miyazato's six-foot birdie putt skimmed the edge of the hole shortly after Lee made birdie to make the final move to two up.

"It was a very important putt. But even if I were to make that putt, we would still be all square," said Miyazato, who brought home a $300,000 paycheck. "I'm disappointed, but I feel satisfied because it's my best finish on the LPGA, and the experience this week will lead to a better finish next time around."

The duo matched birdies on holes 16 and 17, where the match ended with Lee at 2 and 1. Lee has four top-10 finishes this season and is fifth on the LPGA Official Money List with $810,499.

In the consolation match, 10th-seed Mi Hyun Kim, who lost her semi-final match 2 down to Lee, battled through a sore back to hold off 40th-seed Mario Hjorth of Sweden 2 up.

Annika Sorenstam lost in the second round 3 and 2 to Lindsey Wright. Also in the second round, Meaghan Francella defeated top-seeded Lorena Ochoa.

July 23, 2007

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