11 Sep 2023 | Professional golf |

Aussies on Tour: Minjee Lee wins ninth LPGA Tour title

by Tony Webeck

Minjee Lee won Kroger Queen City Championship at second playoff hole
Minjee Lee claimed her ninth career LPGA title in a playoff at the Kroger Queen City Championship. Photo: Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Minjee Lee gave it her best guess and then played a brilliant approach at the second playoff hole to clinch the Kroger Queen City LPGA Championship in Cincinnati.

Leading by two at the start of the final round, Lee (71) saw a five-stroke lead evaporate under a back-nine charge by England’s Charley Hull (69), Lee having to hole a clutch par putt from five feet at the 72nd hole to extend the tournament to a playoff.

Hull very nearly holed an improbable birdie putt from beside the grandstands at the back of the green at the first playoff hole at Kenwood Country Club, Lee two-putting for a matching par to book a second additional trip down 18.

Lee and Hull both found the left rough with their tee shots and after Hull played her approach to just outside 10 feet to the right of the hole, Lee went to work.

Given the firmness of the fairway and the putting surface, the 27-year-old played a pitching wedge from 145 metres that skipped up, rolled out and came to rest just two feet from the hole.

“I had like 145 metres to the pin, but you have to land it like 25 yards short of the green because I was also coming out of the rough,” Lee explained in her winner’s press conference.

“You can’t really predict how far it’s going to run so it was just a guesstimate.

“I just was like, Oh, it’s probably going to run this much, so I just need to put it on a good line and it’ll probably just roll up there.

“It was just really trusting that it was going to come out the way I thought it was going to come out and that it was going to roll all the way to the pin.”

Chasing a ninth LPGA Tour title, Lee extended her advantage with birdies at the second, seventh and eighth holes on Sunday.

Her two at the par-3 eighth put her four strokes clear, a lead that would balloon to five with just eight holes to play.

A double-bogey at the par-5 12th gave Hull a sliver of hope, hope that she converted into a share of the lead with three straight birdies from the 14th hole.

Lee was unable to find the final birdie she needed to separate herself again but stayed in the fight long enough to earn a fifth career playoff appearance.

“After that putt (at the 72nd hole) I just told myself, Let’s go and win this one,” said Lee, who lost a playoff to Jin Young Ko at the Cognizant Founders Cup earlier in the season and is now 2-3 in playoffs in her career.

“Obviously at Founders with Jin Young, that playoff didn’t go my way so this one I really wanted to make it go my way.”

Queenslander Anthony Quayle narrowly missed out on the playoff needed to decide the winner at the Shinhan Donghae Open in Korea.

Tri-sanctioned by the Japan Golf Tour, Asian Tour and Korean PGA Tour, Quayle was one back at the start of the final round but was never able to bridge the gap.

A wayward second shot that forced Quayle (69) to take a drop led to a bogey at the par-5 13th yet the 29-year-old continued to push.

A superb approach from the rough at the par-4 15th went unrewarded, a closing birdie at the par-5 18th bringing Quayle up into a tie for third and two shots out of the playoff won by Guntaek Koh (68).

Kiwi Ryan Fox and Min Woo Lee both finished inside the top 10 at the Horizon Irish Open on the DP World Tour, Richard Green fired a Sunday 65 to finish tied for eighth at the Ascension Charity Classic on the Champions Tour and Amy Walsh and Kelsey Bennett logged top-10s at the LET Access Series Rose Ladies Open in England.


LPGA Tour Kroger Queen City Championship Kenwood Country Club (Kendale Cse), Cincinnati, Ohio 1 Minjee Lee 67-69-65-71—272 $US300,000 T36 Gabriela Ruffels 69-69-74-72—284 $11,262 T41 Stephanie Kyriacou 71-72-73-69—285 $8,681 T41 Lydia Ko (NZ) 68-73-72-72—285 $8,681 T55 Sarah Kemp 72-71-73-71—287 $5,571 MC Grace Kim 71-75—146 MC Karis Davidson 77-71—148 MC Su Oh 76-75—151

DP World Tour Horizon Irish Open The K Club, Straffan, Co. Kildare, Ireland 1 Vincent Norrman 68-71-70-65—274 €951,046.98 T3 Ryan Fox (NZ) 71-69-66-70—276 €266,293.15 T7 Min Woo Lee 71-67-69-70—277 €129,566.17 T12 Daniel Hillier (NZ) 68-71-70-69—278 €88,531.29 T54 Jason Scrivener 69-68-76-71—284 €17,902.06 MC Adam Scott 73-70—143

Japan Golf Tour/Asian Tour/Korean PGA Shinhan Donghae Open Club 72 Country Club (Ocean Cse), Incheon, South Korea 1 Guntaek Koh 69-66-66-68—269 $US188,666.67 Won in sudden death playoff T3 Anthony Quayle65-70-67-69—271 $53,234.57 T19 Travis Smyth 70-69-67-69—275 $11,502.47 T25 Zach Murray 70-68-68-70—276 $9,307.41 T50 Brad Kennedy 70-68-70-72—280 $4,225.93 T50 Junseok Lee 67-72-72-69—280 $4,225.93 T72 Scott Hend 69-68-74-73—284 $2,022.22 81 Brendan Jones 71-70-74-75—290 $1,244.44 WD Won Joon Lee 67-70—137 $1,140.74 MC Todd Sinnott 71-71—142 MC Kevin Yuan 69-77—146

Ladies European Tour Big Green Egg Open Hilversumsche Golf Club, Netherlands 1 Trichat Cheenglab 69-68-67—204 €45,000 T11 Kirsten Rudgeley 68-70-71—209 €6,150 T50 Wenyung Keh (NZ) 77-67-73—217 €1,332 MC Hanee Song (NZ) 74-74—148 MC Momoka Kobori 80-70—150

Challenge Tour Challenge de España Club de Golf Playa Serena , Almería, Spain 1 Martin Couvra (a) 67-70-66-65—268 ------- MC Blake Windred 70-73—143

PGA TOUR Canada Fortinet Cup Championship Country Hills Golf Club, Calgary, Alberta 1 Hayden Springer 66-62-67-67—262 59 Jason Hong 66-69-73-77—285

Epson Tour Black Desert Resort Championship Soldier Hollow Golf Club (Silver Cse), Salt Lake City, Utah 1 Nataliya Guseva 66-67-65—198 $US56,250 13 Robyn Choi 66-67-70—203 $6,551 T23 Cassie Porter 69-71-66—206 $3,951 T33 Hira Naveed 73-69-66—208 $2,754 T38 Amelia Garvey (NZ) 71-69-69—209 $2,184

Champions Tour Ascension Charity Classic Norwood Hills Country Club, St Louis, Missouri 1 Steve Flesch 66-66-62—194 $US300,000 T8 Richard Green 68-69-65—202 $60,000 T23 Mark Hensby 70-72-65—207 $19,600 T33 Rod Pampling 71-67-71—209 $12,086 T45 Stuart Appleby 70-69-72—211 $7,400 T65 John Senden 75-71-71—217 $2,140 T65 David McKenzie74-69-74—217 $2,140

Legends Tour WCM Legends Open de France Golf de Saint-Cloud, France 1 Adilson Da Silva 65-65-68—198 T15 Michael Long (NZ) 72-69-70—211 T22 Jason Norris 74-68-72—214 T29 Peter Fowler 74-71-72—217 T29 Michael Campbell (NZ) 72-74-71—217

LET Access Series Rose Ladies Open The Melbourne Club At Brocket Hall, England 1 Chiara Tamburlini 71-68-65—204 €11,200 T5 Amy Walsh 70-73-67—210 €2,572.50 T7 Kelsey Bennett 72-70-70—212 €2,205 T28 Kristalle Blum 73-73-72—218 €921.67

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