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Despite late charge, Ardina ends up T61


I played every shot to the best I could and won the playoff so it feels nice

CHARLEY Hull keeps a pretty disposition despite her fourth runner-up finish in the LPGA this season. | Dylan Buell/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 

CINCINATTI, Ohio (AFP) — Australia’s Minjee Lee birdied Sunday’s second playoff hole to defeat England’s Charley Hull and win the LPGA Queen City Championship while China’s Yin Ruoning finished third to become World No. 1.

Lee blasted her approach from the left rough to within three feet of the hole on the decisive third playing of the par-4 18th, and, after Hull missed her birdie putt, the Aussie tapped in for her ninth career LPGA triumph.

“I played every shot to the best I could and won the playoff so it feels nice,” Lee said. She pocketed $300,000.

The Philippines’ Dottie Ardina tried to salvage what was left of her campaign with a 69 on the final round. It was enough for T61 finish and $4,676 payday.

She started with a 66 but struggled with a 74 and 80 on the second and third day, respectively, to finish with a one-over 289 total.

World No. 13 Lee fired a one-under par 71 while ninth-ranked Hull charged late to shoot 69, leaving both on 16-under 272 after 72 holes at Kenwood Country Club in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Yin fired a 67 to finish third on 274, two strokes ahead of American Ally Ewing, and the 20-year-old Asian star overtook American Lilia Vu to become the second Chinese woman to reach world number one after Feng Shanshan in 2017 and 2018.

Lee sent her approach at the par-4 12th out of bounds left of the green on the way to a double bogey while Hull’s second found a watery grave as she made bogey, leaving Lee on 16-under with a three-shot lead.

Hull then reeled off three birdies in a row, sinking putts of eight feet at the par-3 14th, 10 feet at the par-5 15th and 15 feet at the par-4 16th hole to match Lee for the lead. Both parred the last two holes to force a playoff.

Hull cashed in $181,727.

“I had a few moments where I really felt like I was losing but I wasn’t,” Lee said.

“I was just like, ‘Let’s just play ‘til the end and see where it ends up,’ so I didn’t give up.”

Hull was over the green with her approach at the first playoff hole, but rolled a putt over a ridge and to the edge of the cup as two pars sent the playoff back to the 18th tee.

On the second playoff hole, Lee blasted her second shot from the left rough to within three feet of the hole, setting up her winning putt.

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