Minji Lee gets stuck, wins the Cognizant Founders Cup over Thompson | LPGA

CLIFTON, NJ (AP) – The way LPGA recording leader Minji Lee was playing, winning was only a matter of time.

The title in the Cognizant Founders Cup on Sunday came after a recent round in which the Australian didn’t give her best.

Lee made only three birds on her back nine and beat Lexi Thompson by two strokes to win her seventh career title and her first since claiming her first major at Evian last year.

“I feel like I’m sort of headed in,” said Lee, who has tied for second and tied for third out of seven games starting this year. “I’ve been getting really, really good at this whole thing—I mean, this whole season, and I just felt like it was right around the corner. I kept knocking on the door, and here I am.”

Lee forever took the lead with a two-stroke on the 14th hole at Upper Montclair Country Club. She finished with a 2-under-70, her only tour not in the 1960s, with a total of 72 holes from a 19-under 269 in the event honoring the 13 founding members of the LPGA Tour.

She established herself after what she called the “good” ghost on the third day of the month. Her ball landed on the wall of the bunker and fired her second shot into the sand playing from an awkward position, but it went up and down from there.

“I was actually quite calm all day,” he told me. “My feelings were actually on a very, very high level, so it was just good to win. I think that’s why I’m celebrating.”

Looking for her first LPGA Tour win since 2019, Thompson climbed from three down and took a share of the lead with a 10th-ranked birdie. A 69. Thompson had birdie chances in the last two openings which she failed to turn before Lee elegantly closed them with her own short jumper.

This was Thompson’s second runner-up in six events this year.

“I spend five to six hours off the golf course, and just seeing it pay off means the world to me,” Thompson said. “I will continue to work on my butt and hope to see results.”

Sweden’s Madeleine Sagstrom and strong Angel Yin tied for third, three shots off the lead at under-16. Sagstrom, who was a shot behind Lee at the start, closed in with a 72 despite the quad bogey on the third hole when she needed three shots to escape what she called a “super dam” lying in a vault.

“I was even debating about taking a drop in the bunker, but I hit him,” Sagstrom said. Her next shot was almost a bad lie, which led to what she summed up as “7 pretty.”

Yin, who had considered leaving the tour earlier this year because she was playing poorly, shot 67. She got a piece of the lead with her seventh bird in 14th, but was stunned at 16th.

“I’m proud of myself, honestly,” said the 23-year-old American. “I’ve stayed steady all week.”

Carolota Seganda shot a 64 on Sunday and finished fifth. Japan’s Nasa Hataoka and Megan Kang tied for sixth with 14 under.

Thailand’s Atthaya Thitikul made the biggest move, reaching the lowest level of the tournament with 63 points to finish eighth in the 13th under-13 with Hye-Jin Choi of South Korea.

Two-time defending champion and top-ranked Jin Young-koo finished 8th under.

Anna Davis, the Augusta Amateur Women’s National Champion, finished in third place while playing her second straight event of the Tour on the sponsor’s exemption.

This was the third time in a row that the Founders Cup had been played at a different track. It was held at Wildfire Golf Club in Arizona in 2019, at Mountain Ridge in West Caldwell, New Jersey, last year and now Upper Montclair, which will be the site for the next two years. The event was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic.

The start of the last round was delayed by an hour due to fog.