Hataoka wins, Minjee Lee T2 in Arkansas

Minjee Lee has finished runner-up to Japan’s Nasa Hataoka on the LPGA Tour at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship.

Lee finished a 15-under par, a shot short of Hataoka, in a final round which included five birdies to card a 3-under 68. In contrast Hataoka earned her second title of the season firing a final round 67.

Minjee Lee Minjee Lee (Credit: LPGA Tour)

Lee struggled on the front nine, carding two birdies and two bogeys to make the turn four strokes behind Hataoka.

“I think playing under pressure is where I belong, this is where I excel,” said Lee who was sharing the lead after the second round after carding an impressive 8-under-par 63.

“Hopefully I have a lot more times that it can bring the best out of me. There are so many more positives than negatives out of this week. I missed a couple birdie opportunities today that I probably should have made.”

“All day I was thinking about the missed putts I had and going into the back nine I just wanted to get to 16-under. I got to -15, so I was close but in this situation I still did play well.”

In a story for the record books Hataoka became the fifth player in LPGA Tour history to record multiple aces in the same event. The holes in one clearly giving her an advantage in denying Lee her victory.

Earlier in the year, Lee won her first Major at the Evian Championship and Sunday’s result also came off a top-5 finish last month at the British Open. Lee’s season earnings have climbed to US$1,338,709 to sit at 8th on the money list.

Su Oh shared 25th position as the next best Aussie, with Sarah Jane Smith in 34th followed by Katherine Kirk in a share of 42nd.