Ilhee Lee wins by 2 in the Bahamas
Paradise Island, Bahamas (Sports Network) - Ilhee Lee closed with a 5-under round on Sunday to earn a 2-stroke win at the weather-shortened Pure Silk- Bahamas LPGA Classic.
Lee carded a 5-under 42 on Sunday to end the event at 11-under-par 126. This was her first LPGA Tour victory.
"I was thinking 4-under for today, that was my goal," Lee stated. "But I saw the wind was blowing super hard, so I changed my goal to maybe even-par. Then I birdied on the first hole, second hole, third hole, and then thought maybe this is the day."
The event was played in three 12-hole rounds to reach 36 holes, which made the tournament official.
On Tuesday, the Ocean Club Golf Course at Atlantis Resort took on a foot of rain and forced officials to scramble to repair the course and come up with a playable course.
For the first two rounds, players started on the 10th and then played Nos. 6-7-4-5-11-12-13-14-2-3-8 in order. That layout was a par 45.
On Sunday, the par-5 18th replaced the par-3 fourth in the rotation and changed the par to 47. Players again started on the 10th, and then played Nos. 6-7-5-11-12-13-14-2-3-8-18.
Irene Cho posted a 7-under 40 to grab second place at minus-9. Anna Nordqvist posted a 2-under 45 to take third at 8-under-par 129.
Cristie Kerr closed with a 1-under 46 to end in a tie for fourth at minus-7. She was joined there by Karine Icher, Paula Creamer, Mika Miyazato and Mindy Kim, who all closed with 2-under 45s.
Lee, who tied for fourth at the U.S. Women's Open last year, trailed by three at the start of her round. She flew out of the gate on Sunday with three consecutive birdies to grab a share of the lead at 9-under.
The 24-year-old Korean parred her next four holes. At the 14th, which played as the eighth hole, Lee made birdie to go to 10-under.
After three more pars, Lee reached the green at the par-5 closing hole in two. She 2-putted for birdie to seal the victory.
"I can't believe it right now. It feels amazing, awesome," Lee exclaimed.
Cho played 15 groups ahead of the final threesome, who battled strong winds throughout the round and heavy rain on their last couple holes as they fell down the leaderboard.
She birdied two of her first three holes to move to 4-under. The 28-year-old holed out for eagle on her fifth hole and birdied her eighth to jump to minus-7.
Cho, who had three missed cuts and hadn't finished inside the top 30 this year, birdied two of the last four holes to end at 9-under.
"I wish we got to see the rest of the golf course because it's really, really pretty, and it's a great look out on the ocean," Cho stated. "But kudos to the maintenance crew for having us finish on hole 18."
NOTES: Lee earned $195,000 for the victory ... Prior to this win, she had just two top-5 and three top-10 finishes in three-plus seasons on tour ... The LPGA Tour heads to New Jersey next week for the ShopRite LPGA Classic, where Stacy Lewis will defend her title.
05/26 20:44:25 ET