Lee leaves Saiki behind for victory


South Korea’s Lee Ji Hee pulled away from joint overnight leader Miki Saiki to capture her first title of the season at the Nichirei Ladies on Sunday.

Saiki made a costly bogey on the 16th at Sodegaura Country and Lee capitalized with birdies on her final two holes to claim a two shot victory, a week after finishing tied for second at the Suntory Ladies Open.

Victory was the 14th of Lee’s career on the Japan LPGA Tour and earned her ¥14.4 million from the ¥80 million purse.

Lee, who set a course record with a flawless 64 to lead at the midway point at last week’s tournament, made seven birdies in all against a pair of bogeys to close on 12-under 204.

“I really, really wanted to win the title and was really tense from the morning. I have never cried so much,” said Lee, whose last win came at the NEC Karuizawa 72 last August.

“I want to get four or five wins this year and aim for the money title,” she said.