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Colombian golfer Marisa Baena wins inaugural Women's World Match Play

  • Craig Strange

Marisa Baena of Columbia kisses the winner's trophy after beating Menna Lee 1-up to win the HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship Sunday, July 3, 2005 in Gladstone N.J.. Along with the trophy in the LPGA event, Baena won $500,000
Colombian golfer Marisa Baena has captured the inaugural Women's World Match Play title by holding off South Korean rookie Meena Lee for a one-up (one hole ahead with no more holes to play) victory Sunday in Gladstone, New Jersey.

Marisa Baena wins the inaugural HSBC Women's World Match Play tournament and takes the one-half million dollar first prize. She made a confident show at the start when she won the first hole. From there Meena Lee was always playing catch-up. Wins on holes 11 and 13 were crucial as Baena moved into a commanding position.

Lee came back one more time and cut the deficit. The match went to the 18th hole. But Baena's luck held and she wins a half-million dollars after winning just 30,000 last year.

"I played such good golf. I was able to hang in there when I was not doing well. I won and that is what we play golf for. I think I have always played golf to win. I was not able to do it. But finally I did it," Ms. Baena says.

And most importantly, she finally wins an LPGA tournament.

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