On the road to a 66 in Thailand, Minjee Lee acknowledges the applause. Image: Getty
Millimeters separated Australian Minjee Lee from another LPGA Tour victory today in Pattaya, Thailand.
Lee, the world number 7, had an eagle track at the par-five 18th hole at Siam Country Club to force a play-off with Amy Yang in South Korea, after Yang two drawing for birdie from the back of the green after the last hole to be walked with a one-shot lead.
But the Australian had a chance after her brilliant five iron shot to just within five meters of the flag.
Lee's putt trickled to the cup and was online. But it stopped a roll or two short and Yang was the champion, for the third time in Thailand.
For the Australian it was a bittersweet aftertaste. The 22-year-old had shot a 66 who had taken the final round and took the lead with Yang.
But the Korean was early red and fast on a lead of two shots for a swing in momentum on the par-four 14th, where Yang missed the green and took bogey while Lee rolled into a four-meter birdie putt.
Suddenly they were tied to the lead at 20-under, but the critical blow of Yang was made on the par-three 16th, where she just nailed from the green into the pony a long, curly putt for birdie to regain the lead .
Lee could not retrieve it; in fact she did very little wrong, except that she did not manage to get the putt to extend the game beyond the 72nd hole the required distance.
Yang finished 22-under overall, a shot for Lee's 21-under. Carlotta Ciganda from Spain came third after a stunning final round 63. Queenslander Katherine Kirk was the best of the other Australians who were right in 19th place.
Lee, the Royal Fremantle member and the Australian Olympian, will play in Singapore next week, and her world rankings will probably fall to a new low.