Where EAST meets the Northwest
BOGEY BOUNCE BACK. Andrea Lee of the United States hits from the 12th hole
during the final round of the LPGA Portland Classic golf tournament in Portland,
Oregon. In a year of having to bounce back, Lee recovered from two early bogeys
and pulled away with five birdies on the back nine on the final day of play. (AP
From The Asian Reporter, V32, #10 (October 3, 2022), page 9.
Andrea Lee rises again to win Portland Classic for first LPGA
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) ó In a year of having to bounce back, Andrea Lee
recovered from two early bogeys and pulled away with five birdies on the back
nine on the final day of play to close with a 6-under 66 and win the AmazingCre
Portland Classic for her first LPGA Tour title.
Lee took the lead for good with an 18-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole and
then hit a superb bunker shot from left of the 17th green to save par and keep a
She was in the middle of the 18th fairway when she watched Daniela Darquea of
Ecuador finish with a third straight birdie for a 66 to pull within one shot.
Lee drilled her approach to 15 feet and lagged her putt to within inches to tap
in for the win.
It was quite a turnaround for Lee, a former No. 1 amateur from Stanford whose
game got off track to the point her LPGA status suffered and she started the
year on the developmental Epson Tour.
And then she climbed her way out of it, winning on the Epson Tour, taking
advantage of sponsor exemptions with solid play and finally cashing in at
Columbia Edgewater Country Club for her first win.
Her face was awash in a mixture of champagne and tears, especially when she
paid tribute to her grandfather, who died late last year.
"He always believed I was a champion, and today I am one," Lee said.
This took a great deal of patience and resilience with eight players having a
chance to win throughout the final round and every mistake seemingly magnified.
Lee started in a three-way tie with Lilia Vu, another former No. 1 amateur at
UCLA, and Ayaka Furue of Japan. Lee immediately fell off the pace with bogeys on
the second and third holes.
"I told myself to stay patient because I still had a lot of golf left," Lee
said. "I managed to get three birdies back, and then I kept going."
She finished with a 19-under 269 and moved to No. 18 in the Race to CME
Darqueaís runner-up finish moved her to No. 59, a big week because the top 60
advance to the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship in November. Darquea
had been ranked No. 108 going into Portland.
The real threat to Lee came from Esther Henseleit of Germany, who took the
lead with an 18-foot birdie putt on the par-3 13th. She had a 6-foot birdie try
on the next hole that caught the lip but didnít drop, and she traded birdies
with Lee along the back nine.
Henseleit was one shot behind when she came up short of the 17th green,
pitched about 12 feet long, and missed her par putt to fall two back.
She finished with a par for a 66 and tied for third with Narin An (64),
Hannah Green (67), Furue (68), and Vu (68).
Maja Stark of Sweden, who earned her LPGA card by winning the ISPS Handa
World Invitational in Northern Ireland, ran off five straight birdies on the
front nine and was among the leaders until she ran out of steam. She shot 66 and
Lee becomes the ninth first-time winner on the LPGA Tour this year.
"Itís more than anything I could have imagined," she said. "I canít believe
it, actually. I canít believe Iím standing here after what I went through last
Lee won eight times at Stanford and won the Mark H. McCormack medal in 2019
as the leading amateur in womenís golf. But her confidence took a hit during
first her two years on the LPGA Tour, which included the pandemic-shortened 2020
It felt like starting over at the start of the year, leading her to where she
thought she always pictured she would be.
Read the current issue of The Asian Reporter in its entirety!
Go to <www.asianreporter.com/completepaper.htm>!