Minjee Lee’s record-breaking comeback Major victory: Aussies on Tour

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.

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


SOURCE: Aussies on Tour is a regular roundup of how Australia’s top men and women golfers are performing on the world’s golf tours and is provided by Golf Australia, the PGA of Australia and the WPGA Tour of Australasia

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