Date: November 06, 2017
Author: Mark Hayes

Tidy paydays for Smith, Lee

Sarah Jane Smith and Minjee Lee couldn't catch the leaders, but they both ran down substantial cheques in the Toto Japan Classic.

Queenslander Smith and West Australian Lee shared fifth at 12 under and pocketed more than $US$40,000 as both warmed up well for the final two events of the LPGA Tour season.

Victorian Su Oh finished T72 after a closing 70 left her at three over.

And while Lee has continued to rack up great results for much of the season, it's Smith who continues to catch the eye in her best season on the LPGA Tour.

Her fifth place is her second best result this season after sharing third at the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open in February and follows her T13 in Malaysia last week.

Impressively as she eyes off her fourth start in the CME Race to the Globe, Smith peeled off seven birdies, including five on the back nine, in carding a closing 66 to scythe through the field.

Lee fired six birdies of her own in carding a 67 to follow suit.

But it wasn't enough to reel in the year's first successful title defence by China's Shanshan Feng at 19 under.

"That was my goal, before I started the week, to defend my title. My caddie told me, `This week, you’re going to be first. Two weeks ago, you finished third. Last week, you finished second, so you know what comes after that… first'," Feng said.

"I was like, OK, let’s go for it. Here I am, and I’m really happy."