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New Zealander, Danny Lee, has won the second LIV Golf event of the year after coming through a four-man player in Tucson, Arizona. Lee had finished with a score of -9 after three rounds, alongside Carlos Ortiz, Brendan Steele and Louis Oosthuizen.
The final day of action was a true rollercoaster with a number of players competing for the individual prize of $4m while there was also the small matter of the team event to compete for too. Australian, Marc Leishman took a lead going into the final round but he opened up round three with two bogeys and never looked like bouncing back.
There was also an occasion halfway through the round where Charles Howell, the winner of the first LIV event of the year, had the outright lead by two shots. Unfortunately for him, a triple bogey on the par-three 8th hole derailed his assault on back-to-back triumphs.
Another man who squandered a lead during the final was Louis Oosthuizen. The 2010 Open Championship winner will be disappointed that he was forced into a playoff after hitting three bogeys over his final four holes.
Leaving the door open for Lee
With a number of players throwing their leads away, it meant that there was a real opportunity for someone to come through the pack with momentum heading into the playoff, and that man turned out to be Danny Lee.
The South-Korean born 32-year-old is new to LIV this year and had only ever won one event as a professional prior to this weekend and had started to doubt whether he was a “winner”. However, a late flurry of birdies cemented his place in the playoff and he eventually secured the win in style on the third hole of the playoff.
Best seat in the house for an unforgettable moment 🤩#LIVGolf @IronHeadsGC_ @dannygolf72 pic.twitter.com/o8pvPrLd3O
— LIV Golf (@livgolf_league) March 20, 2023
After seeing his opponents miss putts for birdie on the 18th, Lee rattled in a putt from off the green which would have gone ten feet past the hole had he missed. It was a special moment for Lee, who was as low as 267th in the world when he decided to make the move from the PGA Tour to the Saudi-backed LIV Golf. Speaking after his victory, he said:
“I haven’t won since 2015. I just felt like winning is just not my thing, but today just changed that. It’s just good to see I’m capable of playing some good golf again.”
Fireballs win the team event
The day wasn’t completely perfect for Danny Lee, however, as his team failed to back him up to give him a double on his second start on the tour. Instead, the team event was eventually won by Fireballs GC – a Spanish-speaking team comprised of Sergio Garcia, Abraham Ancer, Eugenio Lopez-Chacarra and Carlos Ortiz.
Much of their success was down to Carlos Ortiz’s final round score of 65. It was the best score of the day and particularly impressive considering the challenging conditions in Arizona. In second place came 4Aces and in third were Danny Lee’s Iron Heads GC.
Speaking afterwards, Fireballs captain Sergio Garcia said:
“Obviously, super-excited about getting another team win after last year in Bangkok, and super-proud of all of them. Especially Carlos, the way he played today. Shame he couldn’t get the individual win. But what a great effort.”
Next up on the LIV Golf calendar is a trip to Orlando in two weeks’ time.