South Korea’s Mirim Lee held her nerve to win a tense three-way play-off and claim her first golf major at the ANA Inspiration.
The 29-year-old beat American Nelly Korda and Canada’s Brooke Henderson with a birdie on the first play-off hole, after the trio had finished the fourth round tied on 15-under par.
Lee, who secured her spot in the play-off with an incredible chip-in eagle on the 18th, celebrated her victory by leaping into Poppie’s Pond with her caddie Matt Gelczis, who performed a spectacular belly flop into the water.
“Usually I’m not afraid of water, but the pool looked a little deep,” the world number 94 told the Golf Channel. “So it’s true that at that moment, I hesitated a little bit.”
Lee’s victory was her first LGPA Tour title since 2017 and the fourth of her career.
However, there was some controversy at the Mission Hills course after officials decided to build a structure between the 18th green and the lake in an attempt to replicate the stand that would normally hold fans.
It meant players could attack the green without the risk of the ball rolling into the water, instead getting a free drop if their shot hit the blue wall. Gelczis admitted this was their play.
“Our play is to hit it into the middle of the green, let it run into the blue thing and get a free drop,” he told Golf.com.
“Without that being there we probably have to lay up because none of your long clubs are going to hold the green — it’s too firm.”