Course Setup: 35-36—71, 6,600 yards (Scoring Averages: R1, 73.346; R2, 73.287; R3, 73.218; R4, 75.129)
Weather: Mostly sunny, with highs in the upper 80s
MINJEE LEE WINS 2022 U.S. WOMEN’S OPEN
With a final-round 71, Australian Minjee Lee ran away with the 2022 U.S. Women’s Open presented by ProMedica, finishing at a championship-record 13-under 271 and earning her second career major championship. She joined Jan Stephenson (1983) and Karrie Webb (2000, 2001) as Australians to win the U.S. Women’s Open, and followed Webb in 2001 as major winners at Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club.
With the win, Lee earned $1,800,000, the largest single prize in the history of women’s golf.
“This is pretty special,” said Lee, now an eight-time LPGA Tour winner. “This is the one I’ve always wanted to win since I was a little kid, so it just feels pretty amazing to be able to get it done today. I just can’t believe it.”
Lee started the day with a three-stroke lead over Mina Harigae and quickly took control of the final day, birdieing her first two holes to pull five clear of the field. She faltered with bogeys at 5 and 7, perhaps showing signs of the nerves that come with leading a major championship. But thanks to those early birdies, Lee knew that she had plenty of room to make those mistakes and quickly move on.
“Even with a three-shot lead I never felt comfortable today. I felt like I still needed to play well. I still needed to hold my ground. That’s pretty much what I did,” said Lee, the seventh player to win the U.S. Women’s Open and the U.S. Girls’ Junior. “To start aggressively, I think it was the right move, and then after that I had quite a big shot lead, so I was able to just play my game just to finish.”
Lee led by as many as six strokes on the back nine, with birdies at 12 and 15 coming in just as clutch as par saves at 11 and 14. “I had really good saves, up-and-downs from a lot of the places,” she said. “Then finishing I had a couple birdies and a couple bogeys. I think that was enough to get it done today.” With the win, she is now 4-0 in her LPGA Tour career after holding the solo lead through 54 holes.
Harigae was just unable to capture the same spark that she had shown around Pine Needles the previous three days. Nevertheless, her solo-second finish at -9 is tied for the best finish of her LPGA Tour career. And with the newly elevated $10 million purse, Harigae will still receive more than $1 million, by far the largest pay day of her 13-year LPGA Tour career.
“I wanted to hang in there. It’s a major championship, and anything can happen coming down, but she was just way too solid today,” said Harigae. “She didn’t miss many shots or putts. I think I was just really concentrating on solid contact and hitting fairways and greens and giving myself a shot at second.”
2014 U.S. Women’s Open runner-up Hye-Jin Choi shot a final-round 70 and moved into solo third at -7, followed by Rolex Rankings No. 1 Jin Young Ko in fourth at -6 and former No. 1 Lydia Ko in fifth at -5.
MINA HARIGAE HUNG TOUGH, FELL SHORT ON FINAL DAY OF USWO
Although she gave it a valiant effort, American Mina Harigae just couldn’t match Australian Minjee Lee on Sunday at the U.S. Women’s Open presented by ProMedica, carding a 1-over 72 to end the week at Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club. Harigae started the day at -10, three shots back of Lee, and after opening with six straight pars, she bogeyed holes 7 and 11 and birdied the par-5 15th to post a 72 and finish solo second at -9.
“I think that was probably one of the top rounds where I was really nervous. But I think I handled it pretty well for this situation. I’m proud of myself,” said Harigae, who earned just over $1 million after finishing four back of Lee. “I’m not going to lie, my stomach hurt the last couple of holes coming down. I was really stressed out, but I was just focusing on one shot at a time, making solid contact, and hitting good putts.”
The runner-up showing is not only Harigae’s best result in a major championship but also ties her career-best finish and is her seventh career top-five as well as her 20th career top-10. Her second-place check increases Harigae’s career earnings to $5,095,167 and she earns 24 Rolex ANNIKA Major Award points, putting her in a tie for second with Jessica Korda. Though a victory would’ve of course tasted sweeter than second place, Harigae will still leave Southern Pines a changed player, all the more confident in herself and her game after a solid performance on one of golf’s biggest stages.
“The main takeaways are I really am able to handle myself out there. I belong up there,” said Harigae. “This is definitely top one or two highlights of my career, obviously, just the prize money, but solo second in a major, and that’s my best by far. Really happy with it.”
Rolex Rankings No. 4 Minjee Lee (67-66-67-71)
- She hit 13 of 14 fairways and 14 of 18 greens with 28 putts
- This is Lee’s eighth season on the LPGA Tour; she has seven career wins, including a major championship title at the 2021 Amundi Evian Championship
- This is Lee’s ninth start in the U.S. Women’s Open; her best finish is a T11 in 2017
- This is Lee’s ninth event of the 2022 season; coming into the U.S Women’s Open, she has one win at the Cognizant Founders Cup and has recorded two additional top-five finishes, a tie for second at the HSBC Women’s World Championship and a tie for third at the DIO Implant LA Open
- Through the U.S. Women’s Open, Lee leads the Race to the CME Globe with 1851.991 points; she also leads in rounds in the 60s (18) and scoring average (68.750)
- Since missing the cut at the 2021 Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open, Lee has recorded six top-five results and two wins in 13 starts
- Through the Bank of Hope LPGA Match-Play presented by MGM Rewards, Lee leads the Aon Risk Reward Challenge (-1.143)
- She represented Australia at the 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games, finishing T7 and T29 respectively
156 players; 72 holes, stroke play, cut to top 60 and ties after 36 holes
SOCIAL MEDIA: #DRIVEON
Championship: @uswomensopen, @usga (Twitter and Instagram); #USWomensOpen
LPGA: @LPGA, @LPGAMedia (Twitter), @lpga_tour (Instagram)
TOURNAMENT SCORING RECORDS
18 holes: 63, Helen Alfredsson, first round, 1994
36 holes: 132, Helen Alfredsson, 1994
54 holes: 200, Minjee Lee, 2022
72 holes: 271, Minjee Lee, 2022