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Golf: Lee grinds to the finish line

Valencia High golfer ends tied for 60th at U.S. Women’s Open

Posted: July 8, 2012 9:09 p.m.
Updated: July 8, 2012 9:09 p.m.

Valencia High senior-to-be Alison Lee plays her tee shot on the 18th hole during the third round at the 2012 U.S. Women's Open on Saturday in Kohler, Wis.

 

KOHLER, Wis. (AP) — Na Yeon Choi survived a triple bogey and a few more shaky moments on the back nine Sunday to win the U.S. Women’s Open at Blackwolf Run.

Valencia High’s Alison Lee dropped a little bit more down the leaderboard after a final-round 78 Sunday put her at a finishing score of 18-over for the tournament.

The 17-year-old UCLA commit finished tied for 60th place, but she was one of three amateurs among 28 in the field to make the cut.

It marked the second time in her career she’s made a U.S. Women’s Open cut in her third appearance at the tournament.

She shot 75 and 74 in the first two rounds, which put her just above the cut line at 5-over.

Lee then struggled through the weekend, carding a 7-over 79 on Saturday.

Her previous best finish at the U.S. Women’s Open came in 2009, when she tied for 26th at age 14.

This tournament was Lee’s second LPGA major of the year. She also qualified for the Kraft Nabisco Championship in March, but missed the cut.

For Choi, it was her first major and sixth career LPGA Tour victory for the 24-year-old South Korean star, who came into the tournament ranked fifth in the world.

Choi shot a 1-over 73 on Sunday and finished at 7 under for a four-stroke victory. Fellow South Korean player Amy Yang had a 71 to finish second.

Choi came into Sunday with a six-stroke lead after shooting a 7-under 65 on Saturday. She got into trouble when she triple-bogeyed No. 10, but recovered to win at the same course where Se Ri Pak won South Korea’s first major title in 1998.

Pak was among a group of friends who met Choi after she putted out on the 18th green, showering her with hugs — and victory champagne.

Choi becomes the fourth South Korea player to win the event in the five years, following Inbee Park (2008), Eun-Hee Ji (2009) and So Yeon Ryu (2011).

Choi could afford to have one bad hole Sunday thanks in large part to her remarkable performance Saturday when she had matched the fifth-lowest single round in Open history.

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