Lexi Thompson on Friday fired a bogey-free five-under 67 to grab a three-shot lead midway through the LPGA season-ending CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, Florida.
The last-chance victory extended Thompson's streak to six consecutive LPGA seasons with at least one triumph.
Opening with bogeys on two of the first four holes on Saturday, Lee never recovered and posted a two-over par 74.
"This year has been very up and down but to end it like this is very special", Thompson said as she accepted the US$500,000 winner's prize.
Thompson had four birdies and two bogeys in a final-round 70 to finish four shots clear, on 270, of closest challenger, American Nelly Korda, who closed with a 71. "It's been a nice, relaxing week just having him on the bag and having all my family and friends out here supporting me".
"I feel great today".
The 13th hole Sunday provided the shift that Thompson used to hold off Korda.
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Jutanugarn, 22, won the $1 million prize in 2016.
Thompson carried a two-stroke lead to the par-4 13th, when she sank a five-foot birdie putt and Korda took a bogey to fall four adrift. "So this year. just like unbelievable". She hadn't finished better than a tie for ninth in any of her last eight starts -but Tiburon Golf Club has been a haven for the native South Floridian, who is 31-under in her last seven rounds at the tour championship there.
Thompson had a chance to win the tournament previous year, but missed a short putt on the final hole to give Ariya the title.
She had already ice Rolex Player of the Year honors.
There was no final-hole angst this time, and the role reversal was complete.
Among other notables, Brittany Lincicome (67) tied for third at 13 under with So Yeon Ryu (68), Lydia Ko went 68-68 on the weekend to finish 12-under alongside Jutanugarn, Marina Alex (69) and Carlota Ciganda (70). Like Thompson in 2017, Jutanugarn departed with the Globe and the Vare Trophy; like Jutanugarn in 2017, Thompson got the win in the season finale.