10 Jul 2023 | Professional golf |

Three Aussies finish top 15 at US Women's Open

by Tony Webeck

Minjee Lee tees off during Round 4 of US Women's Open
Minjee Lee tees off during Round 4 of the US Women's Open at Pebble Beach. Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Minjee Lee signed off her US Women’s Open defence in style as three Aussies finished inside the top 15 at the famed Pebble Beach Golf Links in California.

Hawaiian native Allisen Corpuz was nerveless in a final round of 3-under 69, coming from one stroke back to record a three-stroke win and claim her first victory on the LPGA Tour.

Tied for ninth and eight strokes back entering the final round, Lee needed a final round reminiscent of her Evian Championship win in 2021 to be any chance of emulating Karrie Webb in winning back-to-back US Women’s Open titles.

A bogey at the par-5 second made that prospect even tougher and nine straight pars meant that any charge would fail to eventuate.

The 27-year-old suffered an unlucky break when she missed the fairway right at the par-5 14th, forced to chop out sideways on her way to the first of two straight bogeys.

But, as champions often do, Lee gave the crowd a moment to savour on 18, holing a birdie putt from just inside 11 feet to end her defence in style at the 72nd hole.

Lee’s final round of 3-over 75 and 4-over total saw her finish level with fellow Aussies Hannah Green (69) and Grace Kim (71) in a tie for 13th.

Green holed a 22-foot putt for eagle at the par-5 sixth and was 4-under on her round after making birdies at 12 and 15 but a tee shot that went left onto the rocky outcrop led to a bogey at the 72nd hole.

After making the cut on the number, Kim posted consecutive rounds of 1-under 71 over the weekend to record her best finish in a major championship.

Fourteenth two weeks ago at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, Kim went one better on Sunday courtesy of birdies at one, six, nine and 13.

The 22-year-old was tracking for a top-10 finish until back-to-back bogeys at 15 and 16 saw her drop to 4-over for the championship.

Gabriela Ruffels endured a roller-coaster final round, making seven bogeys and two birdies in a round of 5-over 77 to finish tied for 33rd.

Results US Women’s Open Pebble Beach Golf Links, Pebble Beach, California 1 Allisen Corpuz 69-70-71-69—279 $US2m T13 Minjee Lee 72-73-72-75—292 $170,020 T13 Hannah Green 76-71-76-69—292 $170,020 T13 Grace Kim 74-76-71-71—292 $170,020 T33 Lydia Ko (NZ) 76-71-74-75—296 $49,649 T33 Gabriela Ruffels 78-71-70-77—296 $49,649 MC Amelia Garvey (NZ) 78-75—153 MC Maddison Hinson-Tolchard (a) 78-80—158

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