A final round 1-under 72 was enough for Min Lee (Taoyuan City, Chinese Taipei) to claim her third Epson Tour victory at Mission Inn Resort and Club. She finished -8 overall with the help of a second round 8-under 64.
“Everything just came up so fast. I didn’t even realize I was still leading until I finished my putt on No. 18,” said Lee. “I am very happy I won the tournament, but I might feel it all a little later. To me, I really try to have fun out there and enjoy my life because you might now play well today, but it’s not going to kill you.”
Lee came into this week off the Pure Silk Championship presented by Visit Williamsburg, where she made her first LPGA Tour cut of the season and finished T31. She has now made three cuts in four starts on the 2021 on the “Road to the LPGA” after returning to the United States this season. Lee focused on working on her game and played on the TLPGA last year due to COVID-19.
“(Playing well this week) really tells me I am doing the right thing and that I need to keep grinding to make it even better,” said Lee. “My parents and my manager (have helped me the most in my career) because they are always with me. Especially my mom, she has always been with me while I am in the states. Without here I couldn’t be in this position and I definitely appreciate that.”
VILAUBI CLAIMS CAREER-BEST FINISH
Capturing her highest finish in her Epson Tour career, Savannah Vilaubi (Downey, California) finished tied for second in Lake County after closing the weekend -7 overall. The All-Big West performer for University of California Riverside claimed her career-best finish and now has three career top-10s.
“I was really hoping for that last putt there, but it was a stress-free par which was nice to end on. I am so excited this week it finally felt like the mental and physical game showed up at the same time. There was progress on each end weeks prior but they just didn’t seem to come together,” said Vilaubi. “My driver notoriously loves OB right so this week I was so committed to just hitting every single fairway. I think I had my best ball-striking tournament so really finding one swing thought that work and sticking to it helped.”
After three consecutive weeks on the “Road to the LPGA,” there is a week off before competition resumes in Harris, Michigan. Vilaubi has a flight booked to Denver, Colorado, tomorrow, hoping to keep the momentum going at the Colorado Women’s Open.
“I haven’t been back there in several years now, so I am really excited and looking forward to that event,” said Vilaubi. Especially while the driver and putter are hot.”
RACE FOR THE CARD STANDINGS AFTER WEEK EIGHT
Following the eighth tournament of the 2021 Epson Tour season, the Race for the Card saw some movement in the top-10.
The victory and $30,000 winner’s check moves Lee No. 12 with $32,183 earned in four total starts this season. Here is a look at the current top-10 heading into the Island Resort Championship at Sweetgrass Golf Club in Harris, MI from Jun 11-13:
1. Ruixin Liu (Guangdong, People’s Republic of China)- $68,663
2. Fatima Fernandez Cano (Santiago, Spain) - $60,401
3. Lilia Vu (Fountain Valley, California) - $49,820
4. Sophie Hausmann (Nottuln, Germany)- $41,632
5. Allison Emrey (Charlotte, North Carolina) - $41,027
6. Maude-Aimee Leblanc (Sherbrooke, Quebec) - $37,928
7. Casey Danielson (Osceola, Wisconsin) - $36,762
8. Amanda Doherty (Atlanta, Georgia) - $35,017
9. Samantha Wagner (Windermere, Florida) - $34,281
10. Bailey Tardy (Norcross, Georgia) – $33,750
Laetitia Beck (-7, T2) on her career-best finish:
“I am happy, especially after saving par on the last hole because I tend to mess up a little bit towards the end, so overall I left a lot of chances out there, but I played well. Just finishing stronger than usual makes me happy. In Kansas I was up there but gave up a few holes, so just finishing better and stronger makes me happy.”
Samantha Wagner (-6, 4) on strong finish close to home:
“I am super happy with how I finished this week. Always happy with a top-5, I got off to a rough start, but I battled back. I missed nine birdie putts on the back, which was frustrating, but I was happy to give myself chances. I am looking forward to taking some time off but I am really happy with where my game is at right now so just going to keep working on it.”
Peiyun Chien (-3, T5) on how she feels about her game this week:
“I feel like I could have done better. I was 4-under through No. 7, but on No. 8 I didn’t hit a solid shot and hit it into the hazard. That hole cost me two shots. It was fun to work with my friend Min (her caddy for the week) and hopefully next tournament I can bring the trophy home with me.”