23 Oct 2023 | Professional golf |
Aussies on Tour: Minjee makes history in Korea
by Tony Webeck
Minjee Lee took another step towards her ultimate goal of world No.1 and created a unique slice of history by winning the BMW Ladies Championship in Korea.
Lee narrowly missed an opportunity to chip-in for the win on the 72nd hole at Seowon Valley Country Club but needed just one extra hole to edge American Alison Lee and claim the 10th LPGA Tour title of her career.
The 27-year-old very nearly holed her approach shot in the playoff, calmly rolling home her three-foot birdie putt for the win after Lee had missed her birdie try from 10 feet.
Her second LPGA Tour win in her past four starts, Lee’s win came a week after younger brother Min Woo Lee shot 30-under par in winning the Macao Open on the Asian Tour.
It is the first time in golf’s history that a brother and sister have won on major international tours in successive weeks, Minjee conceding that she drew inspiration from the manner of Min Woo’s win in Macau.
“Obviously it was great to see Min Woo win,” said Minjee.
“I follow him every single event. I mean, I'd never say it to his face but he plays really well and I'm always really proud of him.
“Sure, it was a little motivation.
“I feel like I've been working up to this one and really building on this win.”
The win held particular significance for Lee as she became just the third Australian behind Karrie Webb and Jan Stephenson to win 10 times on the LPGA Tour and she did so in the homeland of her parents.
Lee’s grandmother was in the gallery on Sunday and had some simple words of encouragement for her two-time major-winning granddaughter.
“She gave me a cuddle and just said, ‘You did so well’,” said Lee.
“That's about it, because everything was a bit hectic.
“Out of all the places, Korea was always at the top of my list because my parents are Korean and I have a heritage to Korea.
“This one is special, especially having all of my family and extended family and friends coming out to cheer for me today.
“It was really cool to see them on the sidelines when I was walking down.”
As Minjee was winning in Korea, Min Woo all but locked up a PGA TOUR card for 2024 with a top-10 finish at the ZOZO Championship in Japan.
Kick-started by holing his approach shot for eagle at the par-4 first, Min Woo shot 65 in the final round to earn a tie for sixth as he seeks to turn Special Temporary Membership into a full card next season.
“The result's actually really good,” said Min Woo, who admitted to not having his best stuff all week.
“A lot of pressure getting my card and trying to play well but I feel like there’s some in the tank still and hopefully I can end the year really well.”
Richard Green almost made it back-to-back wins for Aussies on the Champions Tour, going down to Harrison Frazar in a playoff at the Dominion Energy Charity Classic in Virginia.
Green was the first to post 11-under but then had to watch on as Frazar birdied his final hole to match him.
The pair returned to the par-5 18th where Frazar’s birdie edged the Aussie left-hander.
PGA TOUR ZOZO Championship Accordia Golf Narashino CC, Chiba, Japan 1 Collin Morikawa 64-73-66-63—266 $US1.53m T6 Min Woo Lee 69-73-67-65—274 $275,188 T12 Cam Davis 67-70-69-70—276 $178,500 T21 Aaron Baddeley 68-74-70-68—280 $73,610 T41 Adam Scott 70-73-71-69—283 $27,710
LPGA Tour BMW Ladies Championship Seowon Hills at Seowon Valley Country Club Gyeonggi-do, Republic of Korea 1 Minjee Lee 64-69-71-68—272 $US330,000 Won on the first hole of sudden death playoff 3 Lydia Ko 67-69-69-69—274 $147,030 T22 Hannah Green 69-70-69-72—280 $22,471 T34 Grace Kim 72-72-69-70—283 $13,665 T41 Stephanie Kyriacou 68-73-73-70—284 $10,256 T59 Sarah Kemp 69-76-71-72—288 $5,992
DP World Tour Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters Real Club de Golf Sotogrande, San Roque, Andalucia, Spain 1 Adrian Meronk 72-68-66-66—272 €602,907.98 T19 Daniel Hillier (NZ) 70-66-75-69—280 €40,227.64 T52 Ryan Fox (NZ) 71-71-71-73—286 €12,856.13 T59 Jason Scrivener 69-68-72-79—288 €10,107.57
Ladies European Tour Hero Women’s Indian Open DLF Golf and Country Club, Gurgaon, India 1 Aline Krauter 69-68-68-68—273 €56,812.35 T31 Momoka Kobori (NZ) 74-72-73-74—293 €3,582.97 MC Hanee Song (NZ) 76-76—152 MC Stephanie Bunque 77-77—154
PGA TOUR Champions Dominion Energy Charity Classic The Country Club Of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia 1 Harrison Frazar 65-71-69—205 Won on the first hole of sudden death playoff 2 Richard Green 67-69-69—205 T13 David McKenzie 72-70-69—211 T25 Steven Alker (NZ) 71-71-73—215 T35 Stuart Appleby 75-70-71—216 T35 Rod Pampling 73-69-74—216 T53 Mark Hensby 78-70-72—220
LET Access Series Calatayud Ladies Open Gambito Golf Calatayud, Spain 1 Hannah Screen 69-69-73—211€6,400 T6 Kelsey Bennett 70-74-72—216€1,200 MC Amy Walsh 75-76—151 MC Kristalle Blum 81-75—156 MC Victoria Fricot 86-74—160
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