Although she gave it a valiant effort, American Mina Harigae just couldn’t match Australian Minjee Lee on Sunday at the U.S. Women’s Open presented by ProMedica, carding a 1-over 72 to end the week at Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club. Harigae started the day at -10, three shots back of Lee, and after opening with six straight pars, she bogeyed holes 7 and 11 and birdied the par-5 15th to post a 72 and finish solo second at -9.
“I think that was probably one of the top rounds where I was really nervous. But I think I handled it pretty well for this situation. I'm proud of myself,” said Harigae, who earned just over $1 million after finishing four back of Lee. “I'm not going to lie, my stomach hurt the last couple of holes coming down. I was really stressed out, but I was just focusing on one shot at a time, making solid contact, and hitting good putts.”
The runner-up showing is not only Harigae’s best result in a major championship but also ties her career-best finish and is her seventh career top-five as well as her 20th career top-10. Her second-place check increases Harigae’s career earnings to $5,095,167 and she earns 24 Rolex ANNIKA Major Award points, putting her in a tie for second with Jessica Korda. Though a victory would’ve of course tasted sweeter than second place, Harigae will still leave Southern Pines a changed player, all the more confident in herself and her game after a solid performance on one of golf’s biggest stages.
“The main takeaways are I really am able to handle myself out there. I belong up there,” said Harigae. “This is definitely top one or two highlights of my career, obviously, just the prize money, but solo second in a major, and that's my best by far. Really happy with it.”