Minjee Lee may not be overlooked as one of Australia’s best sports people for much longer after claiming the Hugel-Air Premia LA Open by a four strokes.
The victory was Lee’s fifth LPGA Tour victory and will see the 22-year-old climb to number two in the world in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings.
Lee led the field by one-stroke going into the final round at Wilshire Country Club in LA and got off to a good start with two birdies on her opening nine holes. However a bogey at the par-4 11th hole from Lee, and three consecutive birdies from South Korea’s Sei Young Kim saw the gap close to two strokes.
A steadying birdie for Lee at the par-5 13th hole saw the Australian breathe easier over the final few holes.
“I wasn’t aware until probably that first par-5 on the back nine, so, yeah, I mean, I was just going to carry on playing my own game,” Lee said.
“I had a couple birdie opportunities coming in, so I didn’t get rattled up or anything.”
Lee rammed home a birdie at the par-3 18th hole to claim an emphatic victory.
— #DriveOn (@LPGA) April 29, 2019
The victory wasn’t unexpected.
Although without a win since last May when she won the LPGA Volvik Championship, Lee had been slowly racking up great finishes in the previous two months included three top-5s in her last six starts.
It was ridiculous to think she missed this list of the top 50 women in Australian sport earlier in the year.
Perhaps now the Australian sports media will take notice.