Chips fall at the right time as Mirim Lee wins first major at ANA Inspiration

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — It was a two-horse race at the ANA Inspiration between Brooke Henderson and Nelly Korda on Sunday afternoon.

No one told Mirim Lee.

Lee dazzled with her chipping game for a long birdie on the 16th hole and an unlikely eagle on the 18th hole, then managed a birdie on the first playoff hole to defeat Henderson and Korda for the 2020 ANA Inspiration title at Mission Hills Country Club.

While it is Lee’s fourth LPGA victory, it is the South Korean star’s first major championship.

SCORES: ANA Inspiration

Lee, playing in the second-to-last group of the day ahead of Henderson and Korda, managed a 5-under 67 on Sunday mostly on the strength of her short game. In addition to the 80-foot chip-in on the sixth hole and a 60-foot chip-in on the 18th, Lee chipped in from off the green on the sixth hole for another birdie.

Henderson birdied the 18th hole to get to 15-under par and reach the playoff with a round of 69. Korda, who held at least a share of the lead after all four rounds this week, parred the final hole for her Sunday 69.

On the playoff hole, again the par-5 18th, Korda laid up on her second shot out of the rough, while Henderson was short of the putting surface but near the island green in two and Lee was just off the back of the putting surface in two.

Korda two-putted from about 30 feet for her par, but Henderson missed an 8-foot putt for her birdie. Lee then rolled in her birdie putt from about the same distance before breaking into tears over the biggest win of her career.

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