Aussies on Tour: Minjee’s major moment one to savour


How it started versus how it’s going? Minjee Lee only took up golf because every other member of her family was into it; now she is a major champion.

When the majority of Australia went to sleep on Sunday night Lee’s prospects of the breakthrough major that has seemed a long time coming for someone still just 25 years of age looked unlikely to say the least.

Even after a 6-under par round of 65 on Saturday Lee trailed Korea’s Jeongeun Lee6 by seven strokes, a deficit no women’s major winner had ever overcome on their way to championship glory.

Yet in a period of unprecedented success for Aussie golfers across the globe Lee gave us a major moment to savour, our first golf major championship since Hannah Green’s 2019 Women’s PGA Championship and just the fourth Australian woman to win one of golf’s major titles.

And it all began by simply following her mother, Clara Lee, to the golf course.

“When we were really little we used to go down to the driving range with Mum when she was teaching,” Lee recalled.

“Mum knows a lot about golf and our whole family played golf, so it’s just like we’ve always been around it.

“And Min Woo was always really interested more than I was. I just followed in everybody’s footsteps.”

Talking to the West Australian newspaper three months before the first of her daughter’s six LPGA Tour wins to date, Clara revealed the makings of a major champion and the inner determination that perhaps Minjee didn’t even understand at the time.

“She wasn’t practising because someone told her to. She was practising because she wanted to,” Clara said.

She now joins Jan Stephenson (1981 du Maurier Classic, 1982 LPGA Championship, 1983 US Women’s Open), Karrie Webb (1999 du Maurier Classic, 2000 and 2006 Kraft Nabisco Championship, 2000 and 2001 US Women’s Open, 2001 LPGA Championship, 2002 Women’s British Open) and Hannah Green (2019 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship) as Australia’s female major champions.

Sure to follow close behind in the footsteps of Lee and Green is amateur star Grace Kim, who continues to accrue experience in professional events.

A two-time winner already in pro events this year, Kim was tied for seventh at the Women’s All Pro Tour event in Mississippi as she gears up for LPGA Tour Qualifying School next month.

The best of the Aussie men this week was South Australian Wade Ormsby at the European Tour’s Cazoo Open in Wales, who rose 15 positions on the final day with a closing 4-under 67 to finish tied for 10th.

There was a major championship up for grabs on the Champions Tour also at The Senior Open Championship in London, Welshman Stephen Dodd coming out on top with Peter Fowler the best of the Aussies in a tie for 28th and Kiwi Michael Long flying home with a round of 5-under 65 to earn a share of 35th.

Results

LPGA Tour

The Aumundi Evian Championship

Evian Resort Golf Club, Evian-les-Bains, France

Winner  Minjee Lee                        68-69-65-64—266            $US675,000

T6           Lydia Ko                              68-65-68-70—271            $123,703

T19        Sarah Kemp                       67-69-70-71—277            $49,481

T65        Stephanie Kyriacou          73-69-69-76—287            $10,668

MC         Katherine Kirk                   73-72—145

MC         Su Oh                                  73-73—146

PGA Tour

3M Open

TPC Twin Cities, Blaine, Minnesota

Winner  Cameron Champ              69-67-67-66—269            $US1.188m

T28        Cam Davis                          71-69-73-64—277            $44,220

T34        Cameron Percy                 69-71-71-67—278            $34,386

T51        Aaron Baddeley                72-68-67-74—281            $15,774

MC         Greg Chalmers                  71-71—142

MC         Lucas Herbert                    68-76—144

MC         Rhein Gibson                     74-73—147

MC         John Senden                      78-73—151

European Tour

Cazoo Open supported by Gareth Bale

The Celtic Manor Resort, City of Newport, Wales

Winner  Nacho Elvira                      64-67-66-71—268            €191,570

​T10        Wade Ormsby                   67-72-70-67—276            €21,093

T32        Deyen Lawson                  72-70-70-69—281            €9,211

T40        Maverick Antcliff              69-74-70-69—282            €7,389

T47        Bryden Macpherson        67-76-70-70—283            €6,044

T52        Brad Kennedy                    70-69-73-72—284            €5,063

T64        Scott Hend                         71-72-73-73—289            €3,858

MC         Josh Geary                         71-74—145

MC         Elvis Smylie                        74-71—145

The Senior Open Presented by Rolex

Sunningdale Golf Club, Sunningdale, Berkshire, England

Winner  Stephen Dodd                   66-71-62-68—267            €333,836

T28        Peter Fowler                     67-70-73-71—281            €17,975

T35        Michael Long                    71-74-73-65—283            €14,210

T53        David McKenzie                68-77-69-73—287            €7,521

T64        Robert Allenby                  67-75-76-71—289            €4,546

MC         Michael Campbell            75-76—151

Korn Ferry Tour

Price Cutter Charity Championship

Highland Springs Country Club, Springfield, Missouri

Winner  Dylan Wu                           68-65-63-65—261            $US108,000

T6           Nick Voke                           68-68-68-64—268            $17,880

T11        Steven Alker                      67-65-68-69—269            $12,378

T19        Brett Drewitt                     69-69-65-68—271            $6,429

T67        Jamie Arnold                     66-69-67-77—279            $2,382

MC         Brett Coletta                     71-69—140

MC         Curtis Luck                         72-70—142

WD        Harrison Endycott            75

Korean PGA Tour

Yamaha Honors K Open

Sollaga Country Club, Taean County, South Korea

Winner Hanbyeol Kim                    64-67-64-65—260

MC         Kevin Chun                         70-70—140

MC         Junseok Lee                       70-70—140

MC         Wonjoon Lee                    73-70—143

Challenge Tour

Italian Challenge

Margara Golf Club, Fubine, Italy

Winner  Ricardo Gouveia               67-68-69-64—268            €48,000

T21        Daniel Hillier                      68-72-69-69—278            €3,067

T44        Blake Windred                  69-69-71-73—282            €1,650

MC         Dimitrios Papadatos        70-72—142

Japan LPGA

Daito Kentaku eheyanet ladies

Takino CC, Hokkaido

Winner  Jiyai Shin                             68-68-66-71—273            ¥21.6m

T53        Karis Davidson                  74-71-72-72—289            ¥414,000

Symetra Tour

Twin Bridges Championship

Pinehaven Country Club, Albany, New York

Winner  Lilia Vu                             70-67-68—205   $US26,250

T28        Robyn Choi                        72-73-70—215   $1,591

T48        Soo Jin Lee                         72-72-76—220   $796

MC         Stephanie Na                    77-72—149

MC         Julianne Alvarez              79-77—156

MC         Hira Naveed                      79-77—156

MC         Julienne Soo                      83-74—157

WD        Gabriela Ruffels                76

Women’s All Pro Tour

Natchez Golf Classic

Beau Pre CC, Natchez, Mississippi

Winner  Ana Paula Valdes              65-67-71-67—270            $US8,000

T7           Grace Kim (a)                    70-67-71-70—278            ——

MC         Laura Hoskin                     74-75-78—227


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