Minjee Lee has secured a top 20 finish in her debut professional tournament at the Evian Championship in France.
It was a see-sawing round for Lee, who started off in flurry with three birdies in the first four holes to rise as high as a tie for sixth. Back to back bogeys on 7 and 8, and a triple bogey on the 16th were crucial blows for the teenager, however with six birdies on the day, she finished the round at even par and the tournament at 1-under.
After missing out in approximately $200,000 in earnings this year due to her amateur status, Lee’s first paycheck of $42,329 will give her some confidence heading into Stage II of LPGA Tour school later this month.
In a heartbreaking finish for Australia, Karrie Webb’s incredible tournament fell just short of an eighth major victory. Webb failed to hold a one stroke lead down the final hole as Korean Hyo Joo Kim made an impressive birdie to win her first major.
A 4-under second round 67 for Minjee Lee has virtually ensured she will be a part of the action this weekend at the Evian Championship, and will earn the Royal Fremantle product her first paycheck as a professional golfer.
The question still remains as to how much money she will earn, but sitting just outside the top 10 with half of the field to come in on the second day, Lee is in a great position to finish strongly in France.
One of Lee’s main rivals is her mentor and fellow Aussie Karrie Webb, who sits on 6-under early in her round, three ahead of Lee. Leader Hyo Joo Kim is two lear of the field on 9-under after completing her two rounds.
Lee hit fewer greens in regulation today than in her opening round 72, but it was the putting that made the difference, holing 25 putts on the Friday compared to 31 on the Thursday.
Lee’s two blemishes came on the opening and final holes her round, bookending six birdies including a run of 4 birdies in six holes on the front nine.
ROUND 1 REPORT
Minjee Lee has had a respectable start to her professional career, finishing the opening round at the Evian Championship with a 1-over 72.
With the top 70 plus ties making the weekend, Lee sits just above the cut line in a tie for 63rd place.
It was a dream start for the Royal Fremantle teenager, hitting two birdies in the opening 8 holes. Lee fell from 2-under to 2-over by her 17th, but a birdie on the final par-5 9th pushed her into the top 70.
It was a historic day at the Evian, with leader Hyo Joo Kim hitting the lowest opening round in a major, a 61, to lead by four strokes against second placed Australian Karrie Webb.