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Lee wins shortened LPGA event

The SportsXchange

Ilhee Lee captured the wet and shortened Bahamas LPGA Classic by firing a 5-under-par 42 over 12 holes on Sunday, giving her a two-shot victory over Irene Cho.

She finished the event in Paradise Island, Bahamas, with a 36-hole total of 11-under 126 for her first tournament victory of the year.

"I can't believe it right now," said Lee. "It feels amazing. This is the best day in my life. I'm so happy right now."

Heavy rain had caused the event to be shorted to 36 holes, the fewest number of holes required for the event to be considered official.

Thursday's play was canceled, and players played 12 holes Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The final round at the Ocean Club featured strong winds at the end of the day, and it ended in a downpour.

Work by the golf course staff from Wednesday through Saturday morning resulted in 45 million gallons of rain water being pumped off the tournament course.

Every player started on No. 10 Sunday, then moved around the course. The par-5 18th hole was used for the first time in the tournament, and the fourth hole was eliminated after being used the previous two days.

Lee, whose best finish this year had been a tie for third at Kingsmill, birdied her first three holes Sunday to catch Paola Moreno at 9-under and tie for the lead.

"In the morning, my goal was just pars," Lee said. "I made long putts first hole, the second hole, third hole, birdies, and then I was thinking maybe it's close. So I felt comfortable with the wind today. I think the wind helped me today."

Lee took the lead by herself with a birdie on the 14th hole and added another birdie before finishing her bogey-free round.

She earned $195,000 for the victory.

Cho birdied three of the last five holes for a 7-under 40, which was the best round of the tournament. Cho had an eagle at the 11th hole, and, two holes later, she saved par after hitting shot onto the sandy beach.

"I'm very proud of Ilhee," Cho said. "She played hard. I'm just thankful we got in all 36 holes, and here's to next week.

"I wish we got to see the rest of the golf course because it's really, really pretty, and it's a great look out on the ocean. But kudos to the maintenance crew for having us finish on hole 18, which is only the second time I've played it."

Cho finished ahead of third-place Anna Nordqvist by a stroke.

Nordqvist had a final-round 2-under 45 to finish at 8-under, one shot ahead of a five players: Paul Creamer, Mika Miyazato, Karine Icher, Mindy Kim and Cristie Kerr.
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