Erynne Lee wins Symetra Tour event in playoff

BY AP • July 9, 2017

FRENCH LICK, Ind. (AP) Erynne Lee outlasted August Kim with a par on third hole of a playoff Sunday to win the Symetra Tour's inaugural Donald Ross Centennial Classic.

Lee, the former UCLA player from Silverdale, Washington, closed with a 5-under 66 to match Kim at 12-under 201 on French Lick Resort's Donald Ross Course. Kim, a former Purdue player, shot 64.

Lee earned $30,000 - the second-largest winner's payout on the tour - to jump from 23rd to fourth on the money list with $47,990. The final top 10 will earn LPGA Tour cards.

''It's still hitting me and the thing I'm looking back on is the great golf I played today,'' Lee said. ''The only thing I could control was my golf so I'm really happy with my attitude and how I played.''

Thailand's Benyapa Niphatsophon shot a 69 to finish third at 8 under and take the money lead with $70,415.

Lee's father, Brian, returned as her caddie in early June.

''During the first couple tournaments this year, I went solo as it was a mutual decision,'' Lee said. ''The break was good for us and we learned to appreciate each other more. We're out here together as a team and it is working out in our favor.''

Her mother, Debbie, died during her freshman year at UCLA.

''I went through a downward spiral at school when she passed away, but fortunately with the help from teammates and family it helped me come out of the dark spot,'' Lee said. ''She wasn't a golfer, but she had the knowledge because she would watch YouTube swing videos and read books like any other parent. I definitely wouldn't be here without her.''

Lee also the tour's IOA Championship last year.

''It's not easy out here, a lot of the girls are really competitive and they are getting younger and younger,'' said Lee. ''I feel like the win is a long time coming and I was knocking on the door so I'm glad to secure the win.''

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