Mirim Lee plays a tee shot on the seventh hole during her second round at Mission Hills.

Mirim Lee admits she ‘had no motivation to play golf’ before winning her debut major

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On account of the loss of aggressive golfing because of the coronavirus pandemic, Lee was once having a “difficult time” adjusting to lifestyles with out the power to “regularly do smartly” within the game.

Then again, with the assistance of her instructor and previous Women Skilled Golfing Affiliation (LGPA) Excursion participant Kim Music-Hee, Lee recouped her self belief on the ANA Inspiration, which was once performed at California’s Venture Hills Nation Membership.

And forward of the showdown with two of the arena’s 10 easiest golfers, Lee once more sought recommendation from Music-Hee.

Mirim Lee plays a tee shot on the seventh hole during her second round at Mission Hills.
“I talked at the telephone along with her sooner than going into the playoff,” Lee advised CNN Recreation. “Whilst I used to be looking ahead to the remaining two avid gamers to complete, I advised Kim that my photographs wavered within the last around.

“She advised me that I did smartly in the whole lot I will do, so simply display the whole lot I had within the playoff. I feel that helped me to get relaxed.”

Laborious instances

After profitable the ANA Inspiration because of a six-foot birdie at the first playoff hollow whilst her competition floundered, the 29-year-old Lee’s emotion wasn’t straight away one in all elation. Actually Lees unearths she “did not really feel anything else.”

“As a substitute, I assumed concerning the onerous instances I have been via,” she defined. “I used to be satisfied, however I recalled recollections of the cruel instances greater than the happiness of profitable. It was once my first time crying after profitable.

‘It is loopy!’ Till a month and a 1/2 in the past, I advised her [Song-Hee] that I do not wish to play golfing as a result of I used to be too exhausted.

“Even only a month-and-a-half in the past, you used to mention this. That is unimaginable!’ She could not consider it as smartly. I modified in a month! I modified after suffering for 3 years, no longer taking part in smartly, so she mentioned: ‘That is in reality loopy! You are mad!'”

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Lee poses with the trophy after winning the ANA Inspiration.

Previous to the ANA Inspiration, Lee’s remaining win at the LPGA Excursion had come on the Kia Vintage in 2017. Since that win, she had completed within the best 10 simply 5 instances.

The nearest she had up to now come to profitable a significant have been on the Ladies’s British Open in 2016, when Lee completed tied for 2d after taking pictures a 10-under par 62 within the opening around to tie the development’s single-round report.

In line with Lee, she did not get ready “anything else in a different way” for her ANA Inspiration win.

“This is a primary pageant, however for me it was once extra of a trying out alternative to turn what I had practiced with Music-Hee. This is a primary, however I participated as though it is not a significant. I feel I participated to check my photographs.”

Lee’s arrangements have been additionally unsettled when her standard caddie, Duncan French, came upon he would not have the ability to download a visa to shuttle to the United States from his local New Zealand.

Whilst she used the experience of caddie Matt Gelczis — who joined her via leaping into the enduring Poppie’s Pond as is commonplace after profitable the ANA Inspiration — Lee nonetheless leant on French’s recommendation from afar.

“He contacted me after the second one around. He advised me that I used to be doing smartly and gave me numerous recommendation. I advised him I would like for him to get right here ASAP. I saved telling him: ‘I want you have been right here; when will you get right here?'”

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Lee hits an approach shot during day four of the 2014 Reignwood LPGA Classic in Beijing, China.

The use of the surroundings

Having a look again at the ANA Inspiration, Lee thinks her play first of all had suffered via her getting forward of herself.

“Till the secod around … I tended to center of attention extra at the rating than what I had practiced. I feel I used to be getting desperate to win.”

However having spoken to Music-Hee again in South Korea, she was once ready to calm down extra and play her herbal sport which enabled her to have the superb last day.

When she began the overall day two photographs in the back of Korda and Henderson, the South Korean additionally felt as though the force was once off. Whilst others faltered, Lee chipped in a outstanding thrice all the way through her last around, together with at the last hollow to qualify for the three-way playoff.

Her last hollow chip did not come with out controversy regardless that.

Whilst most often the 18th inexperienced could be surrounded via onlooking lovers, with other people prohibited from attending as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, a big blue wall took where of the ones spectators as a substitute.

Lee’s method to the overall inexperienced would have in most cases sailed into the water over the fairway, however as a substitute, she purposely performed her shot off the wall in order that it stopped only a few toes off the striking floor.

She chipped in from there, qualifying her for the playoff. And Lee says that hitting the ball in opposition to that wall was once one thing that she practiced after seeing different avid gamers do it.

“I feel each participant used that wall. I had heard that you’ll be able to get a drop when the ball lands close to the wall. All of the avid gamers that I performed with within the first and 2d around have been hitting the ball against the wall, so I assumed I may just do it as smartly.”

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Lee plays her third shot on the par 4, first hole during the first round of the 2017 ANA Inspiration.

Going ahead

Even after Lee had chipped in to cap a final-round 67 and provides her the clubhouse lead, Korda had nonetheless but to complete the overall hollow. Regardless of having completed so strongly, Lee was once satisfied she’d finally end up in 2d position.

“Going into the 18th hollow, I set my thoughts to no less than end 2d or 3rd. I hit an eagle on the 18th hollow, however I nonetheless did not be expecting to win, as a result of I assumed Korda was once going to complete with a birdie indisputably.

“I used to be considering that completing 2d continues to be a just right end result. As a result of Korda can hit long-range, I anticipated her to simply hit a birdie.”

However Korda needed to accept par at the par-five 18th, forcing the playoff. For Lee, the playoff was once the place she thrived.

“In reality, I used to be extra relaxed within the playoff than the remainder of the overall around. Actually, I feel I confirmed the entire efficiency I had on the playoff. I did a relaxed swing that I could not do all the way through the overall around. I used to be simply extra relaxed on the whole.”

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Lee and caddie Gelczis celebrate after taking the Poppie's Pond leap after winning the ANA Inspiration.

Now Lee is gearing up for the KPMG Ladies’s PGA Championship at Aronimink Golfing Membership in Pennsylvania, the season’s 3rd primary championship. She has two times completed within the best 10 on the match, maximum not too long ago in 2019.

And having received the primary primary of her occupation, Lee has regained her hobby for the sport.

“I feel I received extra self belief after profitable. Additionally, I am playing golfing now. I feel it [the win] grew to become the whole lot reverse. I feel I more or less know the way to play golfing now. Previous to this, I did not know the way and what to do, however now I’ve the sensation I do know what to do.”

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