Sport Golf Minjee Lee wins first LPGA event

Minjee Lee wins first LPGA event

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Australian teenager Minjee Lee claimed her maiden US LPGA victory with a two-shot win at the Kingsmill Championship.

Returning to play her last two-and-a-half holes on the Kingsmill Resort River Course after weather delays sent the tournament to a Monday finish, the former amateur world No.1 overcame a bogey on the 16th green to post a final round six-under-65 and 15-under total.

She then faced a nervous wait as American namesake Alison Lee (69) had a chance to match her with a birdie-birdie finish, but the 20-year-old could only par the 17th and then bogeyed the last.

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In the final wash-up, Korean So Yeon Ryu (67) took second place at 13-under with Lee three back at 12-under.

The 18-year-old West Australian claims her first win in just her 18th start on the top ladies’ tour in the world and kickstarts what has long been expected to be a fruitful professional career.

“I three-putted the 16th and was like ‘let’s just make two pars and get out of here’, so I was a little bit nervous but glad I could get the win,” Minjee Lee said.

“Definitely it gives me a lot more confidence to know I can win out here.

“Hopefully I can get a couple more wins.”

Holding a comfortable four-shot buffer as play was suspended Sunday, Lee returned with a birdie putt from the fringe on the 16th but blasted it four feet past the hole and then missed the comeback stroke.

With Alison Lee making a birdie on the 15th green her lead was cut in half.

But it was as close as the challengers came with the Australian making solid pars on her final two holes.

Lee, who only turned pro eight months ago, rode a blistering burst after a rain delay on Sunday, picking up seven shots in nine holes with five birdies and an eagle before darkness halted her charge.

The win also guarantees the Australian a place in the upcoming US Open after the tournament delays forced her to miss qualifying on Monday morning.


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