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Lee Oh So Close Again In Singapore

For the second week in a row Minjee Lee was runner-up on the LPGA Tour, this time in Singapore (Photo: Getty Images)
Minjee Lee might well be wondering just what she needs to do to capture LPGA title number five.

The 22-year-old West Australian made it back to back runner-up finishes at this week’s HSBC Women’s World Championship, her fifth second place result in a 10-month run that includes six other top five results.

Lee was two shots behind Korea’s Sung Hyun Park after a thrilling final day at Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore, the Korean World Number Two blazing home in 64 strokes to deny Lee the title.

The cream rose to the top early Sunday at Sentosa and by the time the field hit the back nine it looked to be a battle based on world rankings.

Lee, the World Number Three, was paired with Ariya Jutanugarn, the World Number One, in the final group of the day while Park was two groups ahead.

All three shared or held the lead at various stages on the back nine but it was Park who eventually grabbed the title with some scintillating play.

Lee began the day one shot behind Jutanugarn but quickly ascended to the top spot when the Thai star made a double bogey at the fourth hole.

Park, too, was on the move early with a run of three straight birdies to open her account and went to the turn 4-under despite an alost inexplicable double bogey at the par0-5 8th.

It was to be her last mistake, however, as she added birdies at 10, 13, 14 and 16 to post a 15-under-par 72-hole total, too good for Lee and the rest of the challengers.

The pivotal moment came for Lee at the short par-4 14thhole where she attempted to drive the green but pulled the shot left into some thick rough bordering a bunker some 30 metres short of the putting surface.

Her second was a decent attempt though came up shy of the green but it was her third which had commentators and TV viewers baffled.

With little fringe to deal with the putter looked the obvious choice but she instead decided to chip and left herself far enough from the hole to miss the par putt.

At the same moment Lee was dropping a shot Park was gaining one at the brutally difficult par-5 16thwhich, unusually for a three shot hole, played as the fifth most difficult for the day.

Park’s birdie leapfrogged her two ahead of Lee and that margin remained the same when play finished some 40 minutes later.

While no doubt disappointed to again be the bridesmaid, Lee must surely be inching closer to victory having done little wrong in her final round in Singapore.

The dropped shot at 14 was her only blemish in an otherwise beautifully constructed round of 3-under 69 and she was simply beaten by a hotter player on the day. 

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