Mirim Lee wins a stunner in a playoff at the ANA Inspiration

Mirim Lee wins a stunner in a playoff at the ANA Inspiration

South Korea's Mirim Lee eagled her last hole of policy to require a three-way playoff with American Nelly Korda and Canadian Brooke Henderson at the ANA Inspiration on Sunday, then birdied the first additional hole to stroll off with a first LPGA major title.

The blue advertising structure positioned behind the par-5 18th green at Mission Hills Country Club, host of the ANA Inspiration, was roundly condemned by social media users for the ultimately decisive role in played in deciding this year's victor of the women's major. The trio headed to a sudden-death playoff, and the 94th-ranked Lee birdied the first hole to seal the victory.

Lee pitched in from long range for par on the 16th, dropped a shot on the next hole and appeared to be out of it until her chip from behind the 18th green rammed against the pin and dropped for eagle and a 5-under 67.

But Korda, daughter of former Australian Open tennis champion Petr Korda, saw her game become a little ragged around the turn as she mixed three bogeys with two birdies in an up-and-down five-hole stretch, with Henderson matching her two at the 11th to stay tied for the lead. She closed with two birdies on her last three holes for a 69 to finish two shots out of the playoff.

Lydia Ko, the champion at Mission Hills in 2016, posted the day's low round of 66 to race to 10 under and finish in outright sixth, while Mel Reid was unable to build on an encouraging start to her final round. Korda had a two-shot lead with four to play, but it was her tee shots on the 18th, both into deep rough, that kept her from a reasonable chance at birdie in regulation for the win and in the playoff.

Lee chipped in for birdie on No. 6.

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The chalet in normal years has served as a buffer for shots struck too hard, but it served no objective except for some signage that didn't really stand out.

Northern Ireland's Stephanie Meadow dropped further back in the ANA Inspiration as Cavan golfer Leona Maguire moved one shot ahead of her.

Korda had led from the first round and had six birdies in her final round but she missed a putt to win it on the last. Henderson came up just short, and her eagle putt from just off the front of the green ran out an extra 7 feet on the sun-baked, fast greens of Mission Hills. Korda couldn't get close enough with a wedge after having to lay up. "I felt like I missed a lot of putts, especially the final round where I feel like maybe it could have been a different story".

Her victory spared more conversation about the blue wall behind the 18th green, which the tournament erected in place of a hospitality chalet that was not needed this year because there were no spectators.

Amateur Olivia Mehaffey also shot a 76 and she finished on +13.

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