September 29, 2022
This pro didn't win the US Women's Open, but she still had a life-changing week

SOUTHERN PINES, N.C. — As the final putt of the 77th U.S. Women’s Open dropped, and a swarm mobbed the green to douse the victor, Minjee Lee, in champagne, Mina Harigae exited the 18th green and walked toward the scoring area.

For one, Harigae, a 12-year LPGA Tour veteran, had never played this well on this big a stage. For 72 holes, she went toe-to-toe with the best players on earth, and in the end, just one of them bested her. The finish was (by far) her best career major performance, and her first-ever major top 10.

But beyond the stellar play, and the proof to herself that she can hang with the best of the best, Harigae’s life also changed in a financial sense. With the U.S. Women’s Open — buoyed by title sponsor ProMedica — increasing this year’s purse to a whopping $10 million, there was plenty to play for, even if the final margin was a rout.

The reason for the nerves? Harigae was still playing for the largest second-place prize in women’s golf history. And so long as she could hang on to that solo second standing, she’d be in line for a $1 million payday.

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