Amid a week of controversy and lightning bolts, Korea’s Jeongeun Lee6 has won the Women’s US Open.
When things got tough on the final day of the Women’s US Open in South Carolina, Korea’s Jeongeun Lee6 (not a typo) held strong to claim her first LPGA title and the $1million winner’s cheque.
Lee6 was the only golfer in the final five groups to card a score under par around the tricky Country Club of Charleston, finishing naturally at 6-under pa, two-strokes ahead of Lexi Thompson, Angel Yin and So Yeon Ryu.
On another sweltering day in Charleston, almost every player in contention through 54 holes wilted under the major championship pressure and in difficult conditions on the baked-out, firm and fast Seth Raynor design. Those other nine players in the final five pairings played the course in a a combined 30-over par, the lowest score among them being a 73 posted by Lexi Thompson.
Lee6 has won six times on the Korean LPGA Tour and has been closing in a victory on the US LPGA Tour for some time after recording three top-10 finishes in her last five starts.
Lee6 decided to add the “6” to her surname to differentiate her name from the other five Korean golfers with the same name who also play on the Korean LPGA Tour. Fellow Korean Jeongeun Lee5 finished in a tie for 34th placer, 10 strokes behind Lee6.
Lee6’s victory comes in a week plagued by controversy after comments from golf swing instructor Hank Haney.
Haney was widely criticized and eventually suspended from his radio show for derogatory remarks after being asked who he thought would win the Women’s US Open.
“I’m gonna predict a Korean,” Haney said. “That’s gonna be my prediction. I couldn’t name you, like, six players on the LPGA Tour.”
“Nah, maybe I could. Well, I’d go with Lee. If I didn’t have to name a first name, I’d get a bunch of them right.” Haney continued later. “I don’t know. Lexi Thompson. Michelle Wie’s hurt. I don’t know that many. Where are they playing, by the way?”
Tiger Woods also criticized Haney and was particularly blunt.
“He deserved it,” Woods said. “Just can’t look at life like that. And he obviously said what he meant, and he got what he deserved.”
Haney hasn’t gone quiet though and doubled down on his remarks with the comment on Twitter after Lee6’s victory.
My prediction that a Korean woman would be atop the leaderboard at the Women’s US Open was based on statistics and facts. Korean women are absolutely dominating the LPGA Tour. If you asked me again my answer would be the same but worded more carefully.
— Hank Haney (@HankHaney) June 2, 2019