Minjee secures ninth LPGA title on big weekend for WA golfers

11th Sep 2023

Minjee Lee

Perth’s  Minjee Lee held her nerve to win a thrilling play-off against Charley Hull and bag her first LPGA Tour title in 15 months at the Kroger Queen City Championship in Cincinnati.

Lee (pictured above) made a brilliant birdie at the second extra hole to deny Hull, who made up a five-shot deficit with eight holes to play courtesy of a trio of birdies combined with Lee driving out of bounds and running up a double bogey on the 12th hole.

However, despite Hull’s flying finish, Lee birdied the second playoff hole to claim her ninth career title on the LPGA Tour, and her first since victory at the 2022 US Women’s Open. The win also moved Lee back into the world top 10 and earned her $US300,000 ($A470,000).

The 27-year-old surpasses Rachel Hetherington as Australia’s third-most prolific winner on the LPGA Tour behind Karrie Webb (41 wins) and Jan Stephenson (16 wins).

WA golfers shining on global stage

Minjee wasn’t the only WA golfer to enjoy a strong weekend, with her little brother Min Woo Lee also enjoying a productive week at the DP World Tour’s Horizon Irish Open.

In the mix all week at the K Club, Lee looked a real contender to lift the title after a fast start to his final round. However, he couldn’t keep his foot down on the back nine, eventually finishing in T7th, three shots behind winner Vincent Norrman of Sweden.

Elsewhere in Europe, Perth’s Kirsten Rudgeley enjoyed an excellent fortnight in which she posted her best finish to date on the Ladies European Tour at the KPMG Women’s Irish Open.

The 21-year-old Mount Lawley product was -15 for her four rounds at Dromoland Castle, claiming outright 4th – falling just one stroke short of the playoff won by Denmark’s Smilla Soendenby. Rudgeley followed that up with a T11th finish in the LET’s next event in Holland, four shots off Trichat Cheenglab’s winning total.

Her two weeks’ work earned Rudgeley in excess of AUS$40,000 and move her up to 35th place in the Race to Costa Del Sol standings – virtually guaranteeing her place in the season-ending tour championship in November.

Kirsten Rudgeley

Kirsten Rudgeley – on the up on the LET

 

Another of WA’s rising stars, Connor McKinney, also had reason for cheer over the past week, with the Joondalup CC member breezing through Stage 1 of DP World Tour Qualifying School in Belgium.

McKinney, who qualified for this year’s Open Championship at Royal Liverpool, finished second in his qualifer to progress to Stage 2, which takes place in Spain in early November.


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