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Sunday, February 2, 2014

A Shocker in New Zealand

I'm sure the Constructivist will do a wrap-up post about the ISPS Handa New Zealand Open -- he's been following it all weekend -- and with more info than I have, since the LET hasn't even done a wrap-up post yet. (I'll include a link to his post here once he gets it up.)

But I can tell you this much: New Zealand got a bit of a shock when the tournament ended.

It wasn't just that Lydia Ko didn't win. (She was definitely in the mix btw.) No, the shocker was that the winner wasn't even in the final pairings. Hell, she wasn't even under par when the final round started!

Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to Mi Hyang Lee. (The photo's from her bio at LPGA.com.)

Mi Hyang Lee

According to her bio at Seoul Sisters, Mi Hyang Lee was a rookie on the LPGA Tour in 2012 and she'll be 21 this year. Her stats aren't much to look at. She missed a lot of cuts last year. And although she has a win on the Symetra Tour, her best LPGA finish was a T19 at last year's Evian and her lowest score was a 64 shot at last year's Manulife.

Seoul Sisters will have to update their bio after this week!

Lee started the day at even par. Apparently the course has gotten tougher as the week went on; if you read my post about the first round you'll recall that nearly a third of the field (41 players, to be exact) were under par. By the end of the final round there were only 25...

And Lee sat on the top of the heap after blistering the course with a 63, her lowest competitive round ever, to take the early lead at -9. If I counted correctly, there were only 9 scores under 70 in the final round. Second-round leader Anya Alvarez shot a 73; Lydia Ko shot a respectable 70 to lose by one.

I'm wondering if Mi Hyang Lee will take up dual membership on the LET and LPGA now. If nothing else, a few good tournaments on the LET (and let's not forget that her best finish before today was a co-sponsored LET/LPGA major) could really move her up the Rolex Rankings.

Congrats to Mi Hyang Lee. She had trouble getting into tournaments last year because of her status, but I don't think that's going to be a problem in 2014. Way to make it count, girl!

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