After a slow start this year, a Korean lady has won for the second week in a row on the LPGA Tour.
Lee won ROY last year over the much more heralded Miyazato and Morgan Pressel. There were still some golfwriters claiming others were more deserving than her. Like Julietta Granada and Pressel. The lack of respect Lee got was sickening, maybe because golf writers were covering up for their ignorance in not knowing about Lee before 2006. She was only the leading money winner on the Futures Tour in 2005.
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - Seon Hwa Lee spoiled Ai Miyazato's latest bid for her first LPGA Tour title, beating the Japanese star 2 and 1 on Sunday in the final of the HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship.
The 21-year-old Lee, the rookie of the year last year after lapping Miyazato to win the final ShopRite LPGA Classic, knocked off the 12th-seeded Miyazato after beating No. 10 Mi Hyun Kim 2-up in an all-South Korean semifinal.
It would be nice if Golf World would give 'Stone Buddha' a write up in t heir magazine for a change but with the British Open concluding on Sunday, I don't expect anything more than a small article on the Matchplay tournament.
The 22-year-old Miyazato, a 14-time champion on the Japanese tour, is winless in 43 career starts on the LPGA Tour, a frustrating streak for the biggest female star in Japanese sports history. She was trying to become the 10th Japanese player to win on the LPGA Tour and first since Akiko Fukushima in 1999.Miyazato is now #9 on the LPGA money list. Lee is #5 and Mi Hyun 'Peanut' Kim is #4. Three of the top 10 golfers on the money list are Asian, and eight out of the top 15. Stacy Prammanasudh is Thai-American. Asia is well on its way to becoming the face of the LPGA Tour. There will even be a new tournament in Hawaii next year. That makes three tournaments in that state alone, plus tour stops in Thailand, South Korea and Japan. I'm betting its only a matter of time before a tournament in China starts.
"I didn't feel the pressure," Miyazato said. "She played very well. I honestly think I played very well, too."
Last year in the ShopRite Classic, Miyazato had the lead going into the final round, but closed with a 74 to tie for 13th — nine strokes behind Lee. The young South Korean player finished with a 63 for a three-stroke victory in the Atlantic City event.
Lee earned $500,000 in the $2 million tournament. Seeded 22nd, she beat No. 43 Diana D'Alessio (1-up), No. 54 Janice Moodie (5 and 4), No. 27 Laura Davies (2 and 1), No. 35 Lindsey Wright (3 and 2) and Kim to reach the final.
In the first round against D'Alessio, Lee was 3-down with four to play, but won the final four holes — three with birdies — to advance.
"After that match, I had a lot of confidence," Lee said.
Miyazato earned $300,000 for her best LPGA Tour finish. She beat No. 40 Maria Hjorth 3 and 2 in the morning semifinals.
Miyazato will win and have success on the LPGA. She sure isn't Yuri Fudoh or Akiko Fukishima in regards to JLPGA players who've tried golf in the USA or against LPGA golfers with only fair results at best.
The LPGA goes international for its next three tournaments. With stops in France, Scotland and Canada. I wouldn't bet against Miyazato or the Koreans winning at least one of these three tournaments. The British or Canadian Opens in particular.
On a side note- Despite having three of my four semi-finalist picks in the Match Play eliminated by the end of round two, I won last weekend's Pakpicker. I had 9 of t he final 16 golfers left, while no one else had more than six. It made for a comfortable win.
Linked to- Amboy Times, Bullwinkle,