Lee was valiant in her attempt to recover from a horror opening round of 76 at Lake Merced Golf Club, eventually finishing in a share of 8th place and three shots from the playoff between eventual champion Sei Young Kim, Bronte Law and Jeongeun Lee6.
The West Australian got within two shots of leader Bronte Law through nine holes of her final round and, given her impressive record at Lake Merced, an opportunity existed for her to go one better than her playoff loss to Lydia Ko 12 months ago.
A bogey at the 12th today halted Lee's momentum but her bounce-back from a now out of character opening round was impressive nonetheless.
Kim kept her perfect LPGA Tour playoff record alive to claim her 8th LPGA Tour title since becoming a member in 2015.
With two impressive shots to the first playoff hole at the par-5 18th she was able to two-putt from just off the front of the green to defeat Lee6 who three-putted for par and Law who was unable to get up and down from 30 metres short of the green.
England’s Law, in her third season on the LPGA Tour, had thrown the cat amongst the pigeons with a brilliant final round of 65, reeling off a stretch of nine holes in 7 under par through the middle of her round.
Crucially, however, she was unable to birdie her final green which as it turned out would have given her the winning score.
Lee6 is in her first season on the LPGA Tour but she has already shown in the events she has played this season that she has the game to improve on what is already an outstanding record on the Korean LPGA Tour.
Lexi Thompson, Amy Yang, Eun-Hee Ji and Charley Hull all finished two off the playoff in a share of 4th place.
Hannah Green was the only other Australian aside from Minjee Lee to make the cut but finished well back in 71st place.
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