Date: July 23, 2007

Lee takes out women’s matchplay

South Korean Seon Hwa Lee picked up the biggest paycheck of her young career on Sunday, taking out the HSBC Women&aposs World Matchplay championship at Wykagyl Country Club in New York State. The 21-year-old beat Japanese rising star Ai Miyazato 2 and 1, closing out the match on the 17th hole with a superb eight-foot birdie putt to secure the US$500,000 winner&aposs cheque. It was Lee&aposs second LPGA tour title, having taken out the ShopRite LPGA Classic last year on the way to rookie of the year honours. Miyazato, who came into the week as the No.12 seed, never led throughout the entire match, conceding the lead with a bogey at the first but drawing level at the second. The Japanese player was one down heading to the par-five 16th hole, but Lee doubled her advantage with a birdie. Despite falling short, the result is the 22-year-old Miyazato&aposs best finish on the LPGA Tour On the way to the final, the No.22 seed Lee beat Diana D&aposAlessio (No.43), Janice Moodie (No.54), Laura Davies (No.27) and Lindsey Wright (No.35) before she knocked off compatriot and No.10 seed Mi Hyun Kim in the semi-finals 1-up. Kim won the consolation match 2-up against Maria Hjorth, 2-up to claim third place. It continues a recent trend of higher seeds winning this tournament. Defending champion Brittany Lincicome was the No.39 seed when she won last year, while 2005 winner Marisa Baena was a rank outsider at the No.60 seed. Wright was the best of the Australians, beating Swedish champion Annika Sorenstam on the way to the quarter-finals, where she lost 3 and 2 to the eventual winner. Rachel Hetherington made the third round, while Karrie Webb and Wendy Doolan failed to get past the first round. Webb lost to No.63 seed Charlotte Mayorkas at the 18th, while Doolan was no match for Kim, losing 5 and 4.