10 Oct 2022 | Professional golf |

Aussies On Tour - Min Woo Lee's Spanish conquest falls short

by Australian Golf Media

Min Woo Lee Spain r4 image
Min Woo Lee plays from the rough during the final round of the Spanish Open today. Photo: Getty

By Tony Webeck

He promised a Sunday showdown yet Min Woo Lee couldn’t match the firepower of home favourite Jon Rahm in the final round of the DP World Tour’s Open de Espana in Madrid.

Lee and now world No. 5 Rahm played all four rounds together at Club de Campo Villa de Madrid and vowed to give the parochial fans a Sunday to remember.

Starting just one stroke back, Lee managed to keep pace courtesy of a hole-out from off the green for eagle at the par-5 seventh and was two back at the turn as Rahm began to take control.

Seeking to join Seve Ballesteros as a three-time winner of Spain’s national Open, the former world No.1 found deep rough with his tee shot at the par-4 10th but piloted a testing seven-footer home for par to maintain his advantage.

At the par-3 11th, both Lee and Rahm left themselves huge putts across the green for birdie. Rahm watched Lee’s, from over 50 feet, finish close enough for a guaranteed par before stepping up and draining his own from 35 feet to extend his advantage to three shots.

The cushion came in handy at the 12th, Rahm’s drive finished deep in the trees on the left and led to a bogey – his first dropped shot since the 11th hole on Friday.

But normal service was resumed at the 13th, Rahm’s drive splitting the fairway and a flick from just over 100 yards to seven feet setting up his sixth birdie of the day.

There was little Lee could do and it was all but over when they walked off the 14th. Rahm almost managed an albatross, only the pace of the ball kept it from dropping when his second shot, from the rough more than 200 yards away, hammered into the bottom of the pin and skidded off. But an eagle and Lee’s bogey meant the gap was six shots with four holes to play.

Two birdies in his final three holes took Frenchman Matthieu Pavon (65) above Lee (68) but it was all about Rahm (62) and he finished with a flourish, birdies at 17 and 18 adding the gloss to his eighth DP World Tour victory.

Projected to move up from No. 73 to No. 65 in the Official World Golf Ranking, Lee’s top-three finish is his best result in almost a year and sets up a strong finish to the DP World Tour season.

It was a top-10 a long time coming too for Jason Day at the PGA TOUR’s Shriners Children’s Open in Las Vegas.

One-over through six holes after starting the day tied for 23rd, Day roared home with nine birdies in his final 12 holes for a closing eight-under 63 and tie for eighth, his best result since February at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Lucas Herbert (68, T20) and Cam Davis (71, T37) both lost ground in the final round as Harrison Endycott (70, T69) played all four rounds for the second time in his burgeoning PGA TOUR career.

Gabriela Ruffels’ tie for 11th at the Epson Tour Championship was not enough to secure one of the 10 LPGA Tour cards up for grabs, Grace Kim finishing fifth to rubber-stamp her promotion in 2023. Ahead of his long-awaited return to Australian shores Marc Leishman finished tied for 10th at the LIV Golf Invitational Bangkok in Thailand and Elvis Smylie secured a spot at Second Stage of DP World Tour Qualifying School, tied for second at the First Stage event in England. Results

PGA TOUR Shriners Children’s Open TPC Summerlin, Las Vegas, Nevada Winner Tom Kim 65-67-62-66—260 $1.44m T8 Jason Day 66-71-66-63—266 $242,000 T20 Lucas Herbert 67-70-65-68—270 $81,500 T37 Cam Davis 67-66-68-71—272 $36,457 T69 Harrison Endycott 67-71-69-70—277 $16,560 MC Danny Lee (NZ) 71-72—143 MC Ryan Ruffels 77-71—148 Japan Golf Tour For The Players By The Players THE RAYSUM, Gunma Modified Stableford scoring Winner Shintaro Kobayashi 9-11-13-8—41 ¥10m T17 Michael Hendry (NZ) 7-(-2)-8-11—24 ¥735,000 T57 Andrew Evans 3-2-8-(-4)—9 ¥117,250 T59 Anthony Quayle 2-9-(-3)-0—8 ¥115,000 T61 Matthew Griffin 7-2-(-5)-(-1)—3 ¥113,000 MC Adam Bland 1-2—3 DP World Tour Open de Espana Club de Campo Villa de Madrid, Madrid, Spain Winner Jon Rahm 64-68-65-62—259 €297,500 3 Min Woo Lee 67-65-66-68—266 €110,250 T62 Maverick Antcliff 69-69-75-70—283 €5,075 MC Zach Murray 74-68—142 MC Jason Scrivener 71-72—143 LPGA Tour LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship The Saticoy Club, Somis, California Winner Jodi Ewart Shadoff 64-69-69-71—273 $US270,000 T32 Karis Davidson 72-73-69-70—284 $10,219 T32 Sarah Kemp 72-72-69-71—284 $10,219 T66 Stephanie Kyriacou 72-70-71-77—290 $3,913 MC Sarah Jane Smith 71-75—146 MC Su Oh 77-73—150 Challenge Tour British Challenge St Mellion Estate, Cornwall, England Winner Euan Walker 71-66-72-71—280 €41,953.32 T11 Daniel Hillier 69-72-66-79—286 €4,064.23 MC Blake Windred 72-81—153 Epson Tour Epson Tour Championship LPGA International (Jones Cse), Daytona Beach, Florida Winner Jaravee Boonchant 67-64-68-66—265 $US37,500 T11 Gabriela Ruffels 67-68-67-69—271 $4,409 T11 Amelia Garvey (NZ) 67-66-69-69—271 $4,409 T20 Robyn Choi 68-69-66-70—273 $3,073 MC Soo Jin Lee 73-69—142 MC Hira Naveed 70-73—143 MC Grace Kim 70-75—145 LIV Golf LIV Golf Invitational Bangkok Stonehill Golf Club, Bangkok, Thailand Winner Eugenio Chacarra 65-63-69—197 $US4m T10 Marc Leishman 66-69-70—205 $477,500 T15 Matt Jones 71-70-66—207 $233,600 T20 Jediah Morgan 67-69-72—208 $174,285 T27 Wade Ormsby 70-68-71—209 $157,000 T41 Cameron Smith 72-70-70—212 $131,000 Champions Tour Constellation Furyk and Friends Timuquana Country Club, Jacksonville, Florida Winner Steve Stricker 69-64-69—202 $US300,000 T49 John Senden 80-71-67—218 $6,200 T57 Robert Allenby 75-72-73—220 $3,700 T63 Rod Pampling 74-73-74—221 $2,700 T76 Stuart Appleby 75-76-78—229 $1,120 DP World Tour Qualifying School Stage 1 Champneys Mottram Hall, Mottram St Andrew, Cheshire, England Winner Takumi Kanaya 71-69-66-67—273 €2,280.07 T2 Elvis Smylie 67-70-71-67—275 €1,311.04 Golf d’Hardelot, Hardelot, France Winner William Harrold 68-68-68-69—273 €2,280.07 MC Lazim Medini (a) 84-76-72—232

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