Minjee Lee’s 7th LPGA triumph: Aussies on Tour

Minjee Lee

Minjee Lee powered to her 7th LPGA title, Adam Scott headed the Aussies on the US PGA Tour, while Rod Pampling and Stuart Appleby fired on the Champions Tour. Aussies on Tour is a regular wrap of how Australia’s top men and women golfers are performing on the world’s golf tours, with information provided by Golf Australia, the PGA of Australia and the WPGA. This edition was written by Martin Blake from Golf Australia.

Three late birdies have delivered Minjee Lee the seventh LPGA Tour title of her career at the Cognizant Founders Cup at Upper Montclair Country Club in New Jersey.

A one-shot leader at the start of the final round, Lee had to battle through struggles with her normally stellar iron play to stave off a charging Lexi Thompson, holing a three-foot birdie putt at the 72nd hole for a closing two-under 70, a 19-under total and a two-shot victory.

A superb second round of nine-under 63 put Lee in position to record her first win since her major breakthrough at last year’s Amundi Evian Championship but she would have to conjure willpower over execution to get it done.

What would ultimately prove to be a good bogey, Lee’s dropped shot after missing the green with her tee shot at the par-3 eighth brought Thompson (69) and Angel Yin (67) into the fight for the outright lead.

The trio were tied at the top early in the back nine and when Lee and Thompson both made birdie at the par-5 12th were locked together at 17-under with six holes to play.

Although her brilliant wedge into the tournament’s final hole was the perfect exclamation point, the 25-year-old credited her win with the birdie at the par-5 14th that restored her status as the solo leader.

“I knew the last four holes would be tough to make birdies on so I figured that if I made birdie on 14 it would give me a pretty good chance to be leading or tied leading going into 18,” explained Lee, who is now fourth on the all-time list of Australian winners on the LPGA Tour behind Karrie Webb (41), Jan Stephenson (16) and Rachel Hetherington (eight).

“That’s what turned the tables a little bit.

“In the very beginning I missed a couple of short putts and didn’t really catch that momentum.

“Through the middle and towards the end of my round my ball-striking kind of went out the window.

“I fought really hard this whole day and to finish with a couple of birdies and come out with the win is just really special.”

Lee wasn’t the only Australian woman to have a win the past week, Whitney Hillier claiming the teams event as part of the Ladies European Tour’s Aramco Series event in Bangkok.

Paired with Chonlada Chayanun, Krista Bakker and amateur Pattanan Amatanon, Hillier and co. backed up their excellent first round to post a 31-under total for the two rounds to hand Hillier her first LET title.
“I’m so proud of my team,” said Hillier.

“Everything just flowed and obviously we played great golf, but we had a lot of the fun, so that was the most important thing too.

“This is my 10th year on tour, and for my first win to be in a team event, like that’s pretty cool.”

The best result for the Aussie men came with Stuart Appleby and Rod Pampling’s tie for third at the Champions Tour’s Regions Tradition tournament in Alabama while Kiwis Ryan Fox and Ben Campbell were unable to convert 54-hole leads on the DP World Tour and Japan Golf Tour respectively.

Fox finished runner-up behind England’s Sam Horsfield at the Soudal Open in Belgium while Campbell’s closing 72 saw him finish tied for eighth at the Asia Pacific Open Golf Championship Diamond Cup.

Adam Scott was the leading Aussie at TPC Craig Ranch for the AT&T Byron Nelson on the PGA Tour after finishing with 16-under, but Marc Leishman provided the highlight with a 213-yard hole-in-one on the the 15th. 


Cognizant Founders Cup
Upper Montclair Country Club, Clifton, New Jersey
Winner    Minjee Lee    67-63-69-70—269    $US450,000
T12    Lydia Ko    69-74-69-67—279    $46,366
63    Sarah Kemp    72-69-71-75—287    $7,178
MC    Stephanie Kyriacou    73-71—144
MC    Sarah Jane Smith    71-77—148
MC    Katherine Kirk    70-80—150

AT&T Byron Nelson
TPC Craig Ranch, McKinney, Texas
Winner    KH Lee    64-68-67-63—262    
T32    Adam Scott    67-69-71-65—272    
T51    Marc Leishman    73-66-69-67—275    
T51    Jason Day    68-68-73-66—275    
MC    Brett Drewitt    69-72—141
MC    Cameron Percy    72-71—143

DP World Tour
Soudal Open
Rinkven International GC, Antwerp, Belgium
Winner    Sam Horsfield    65-69-69-68—271    €327,000.44
T2    Ryan Fox    68-68-66-71—273    €166,385.52
T58    Josh Geary    70-71-74-71—286    €5,578.24
MC    Wade Ormsby    71-72—143
MC    Maverick Antcliff    74-70—144
MC    Zach Murray    72-78—150

Japan Golf Tour/Asian Tour
Asia Pacific Open Golf Championship Diamond Cup
Oarai Golf Club, Ibaraki, Japan
Winner    Shugo Imahira    66-69-69-68—272    ¥20m
T6    Kazuma Kobori (a)    67-70-68-69—274    ——
T8    Ben Campbell    67-70-66-72—275    ¥3,033,333
T18    Todd Sinnott    66-68-77-68—279    ¥978,333
T43    Brad Kennedy    69-74-69-72—284    ¥560,000
T49    Jimmy Hydes (a)    67-73-75-70—285    —–
MC    Jake Higginbottom    83-71—154

Ladies European Tour
Aramco Team Series – Bangkok
Thai Country Club, Bangkok, Thailand
Winner    Manon De Roey    70-67-66—203    €71,856.75
T8    Whitney Hillier    71-70-69—210    €11,736.61

Korn Ferry Tour
Visit Knoxville Open
Holston Hills Country Club, Knoxville, Tennessee
Winner    Anders Albertson    62-67-65-66—260    $US135,000
T76    Ryan Ruffels    69-69-72-70—280    $2,820
MC    Nick Voke    69-70—139
MC    Curtis Luck    69-71—140
MC    Harrison Endycott    69-72—141
MC    Rhein Gibson    71-71—142

Champions Tour
Regions Tradition
Greystone Golf and Country Club, Birmingham, Alabama
Winner    Steve Stricker    65-68-66-68—267    
T3    Rod Pampling    68-70-69-67—274    
T3    Stuart Appleby    68-69-68-69—274    
T3    Steven Alker    68-69-65-72—274    
T26    David McKenzie    68-76-72-67—283    
T36    Stephen Leaney    71-71-70-73—285    
62    Robert Allenby    75-70-70-78—293    
72    John Senden    81-72-76-75—304    


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