In wake of the Popov fiasco, the LPGA is being criticised AGAIN.


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In the immediate aftermath of the ANA Inspiration, the second major of the year on the ladies’ Tour, it seems that all anyone wants to talk about is the wall that lined the 18th green.

Rather than focusing on how well the players did battling the extreme heat of the desert (we all know that wild fires have been ranging through the west coast this week), there has been so much discussion about whether the construction should have been allowed.

So, in case you missed it, this is what happened...

Going into the final round, many thought it was going to be either Nelly Korda or Brooke Henderson taking the trophy.

But South Korea’s Mirim Lee had other ideas.

After chipping in twice, she got to the 18th and bounced her ball off the much-talked-about wall with a 5-wood. This stopped it careering into the water and she was able to expertly chip in for an eagle and for the THIRD time during the round. Incredible. (see video below).

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This then got her in the three-way playoff and she soon secured this with a birdie putt on the first hole.

Breaking down in tears after her win and clearly in shock, Mirim was too emotional to answer when she was asked by the interviewer if she was in disbelief.

In fact, I think we're all still a bit shocked. It was an absolutely incredible win from a player that very few of us saw coming.

A refreshing leap into Poppie's Pond seemed to help her compose herself and commenting on her tactics for the 18th hole she said: 

“I definitely thought to utilize the back and the backboard.

“When I had practice rounds, I had practiced that shot, so it was a definite for me to use the space there.”

 Normally a grandstand would be behind the 18th green, but as the tournament was held behind closed doors, the wall was meant to replicate this area and of course provide a platform for the sponsorship logos.

But there have been mutterings that the wall affected the final scores, and that it shouldn’t have been there in the first place.

Judy Rankin made her opinion clear during the Golf Channel's coverage of the event.

"The fact is, it has been way too artificial," she said.

"There was no real reason for it to be there. There were not spectators, or clients or anything like that. And it has affected play way too much."

I'm sure there were other ways that the sponsor logos could have been displayed, but as every player had the opportunity to use the wall to their advantage and bounce a shot off it (and many did), I don’t really see what the problem is.

It wasn’t an opportunity only available to Lee.

This is golf. Crazy things happen and we have unexpected winners all the time; that’s what’s so great about it.

However, it certainly proved a problem for Brooke Henderson when her ball became stuck underneath it (her caddy and sister Brittany then had to crawl on her tummy to try and get it out).

I certainly agree with Laura Davies that it could have been raised up by about half a foot to avoid this happening. 

I also felt very sorry for Nelly Korda, who seemed rather dispondant and fed up after witnessing her opponent's amazing good luck and three chip ins (understandable really).

But I don’t think Mirim's unusual last hole should take anything away from how brilliantly she played. Her victory is still 100 percent so well deserved and it's definitely one that none of us saw coming.

It’s her fourth win on the LPGA and her first major, it also makes it the tenth consecutive year where a South Korean has won a major (imagine if the Brits ever managed that?!).

It was certainly a tournament full of drama and yet another example of why women’s golf is ANYTHING for boring and predictable.

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