Updated: January, 2016


The Facts

Birthday: May 27, 1996
Rookie Year on LPGA: 2015
Birthplace: Perth, Australia
Residence: Perth, Australia
Best LPGA Finish: Win (2015 Kingsmill Championship)
Best LPGA Major Finish: T-9th (2015 Ricoh Women's British Open)
Best Score: 64 (2014 KEB Hana Bank Championship)
Best Scoring Average For a Year: 70.88 (2015)
Best Season Money Total: $821,121 (2015)
Best Season Money Position: 16th (2015)
Most Top Tens/Season: 7 (2015)
Rookie of the Year Finish: 3rd
Height: Unknown
2016 LPGA Status: Category 1
Nicknames: None Known
How's her English?: Fluent
Sponsors: Hana Bank, Descente
Road to the LPGA: Finished T-1st at 2014 Qualifying School.

Capsule Bio

Minjee Lee is a Korean-Australian who lives in the western city of Perth. Her mother got her interested in golf when she was 10 years old, and in no time at all she became quite good. She became a major force in Australian amateur golf in 2010 as a 14 year old. That year she became the youngest ever winner of the Western Australia State Amateur Championship.


Seoul Sisters Pix

In 2011, Minjee came pretty close to winning the Australian Amateur Championship; she lost on the 38th hole in the final. She made the semifinal in 2012, but lost to Korean New Zealand superstar Lydia Ko, who went on to take the title.

But Minjee's 2012 got better after that. In the summer, she played at the US Girls Junior, and took the title when she first beat Ariya Jutanugarn in the semifinals, then Korean American Alison Lee (who had beaten Ko) in the finals.

Minjee added the Australian Amateur title at last to her trophy case in 2013. After two near misses, she cruised to a 6 & 5 win in the final over Australian Jenny Lee. The next week, she contended at the New South Wales Open, a professional event. Tied for the lead going into the final round, she ended up third, her best finish yet in a pro event. Only the 2011 champion, Caroline Hedwall, and the defending champ, Lydia Ko, finished ahead of her. In her next event, the Volvik RACV Australian Ladies Masters, she finished tied for 16th.

Lee kept racking up wins in amateur golf throughout 2013. Among her triumphs were wins at the Western Australia Amateur Championship, the Rene Erichson Salver and the Australian Girls Amateur Championship. She also reached the round of 16 at the US Women's Amateur, and teamed with Su Hyun Oh to help Australia capture the Queen Sirikit Cup. She finished the 2013 season the 4th ranked women amateur in the world.

In 2014, Minjee took another quantum leap forward in her game. She started the year by repeating as the Australian Women's Amateur champion. She then played several professional events, excelling in all of them. At the New South Wales Open in late January, she finished tied for 5th. At the RACV Australian Ladies Masters, however, she was brilliant, contending the entire week and coming up just short to Cheyenne Woods, finishing second - her best ever professional result. The next week, she again found herself in the final group on Sunday, this time at the Austrlian Women's Open, her first LPGA event. Tied with Chella Choi going into the final day, she managed to stay atop the leaderboard until the tough conditions finally wore her down with a few holes to play. She wound up tied for 11th.

Minjee would not have long to wait to avenge that loss, however. In her next pro event, the ALPG's Victorian Open, Lee zoomed to a three shot lead after three rounds, with fellow am Oh in third. But Minjee would not be denied this time: on the final day she shot a scintillating six under par 68 to crush the field by six for her first pro win. Several thousand fans followed her the entire day, and Lee has become a big story down under. Her win also elevated her to the #1 spot in women's amateur golf.

Lee focused on professional events for the rest of her amateur career, with good results. She played four Majors in 2014, missing the cut at the British, but notching top 25 finishes in the Evian, US Women's Open and Kraft Nabisco (her best finish was a T-16th at the Evian, her first event as a pro). She was the low amateur in the Open and Kraft.

Lee did play in one more important amateur event: the Women's World Amateur Team Golf Championship, or the Espirito Santo Cup. Teaming with fellow Korean Aussie amateur stars Shelly Shin and Su Hyun Oh, Australia launched a massive final round comeback - spearheaded by Minjee's 65 and Oh's 66 - which resulted in Australia capturing the cup. She immediately turned pro after that and played in the Evian.

Minjee also was on Team Australia at the International Crown; she was the only amateur in that event. But Australia did not make it to the final round.

In the Winter, Minjee attended LPGA Q-School. She ended up tying Korean American amateur Alison Lee for the top spot, earning her tour card for 2015.

Minjee struggled a tad early in her rookie season. After a top ten in Australia, she finished 30th in Singapore, then missed three straight cuts. She had two top twenties, then another missed cut. But everything came together for her in May at the Kingsmill Championship. Rain delayed the end of the tournament until Monday, but as light waned on Sunday, Minjee went on a tear, amassing a large lead on the back of multiple birdies and an eagle. So Yeon Ryu made a run at her the next day, but Lee held on and collected her first career LPGA win.

Lee went on to make 7 top tens during the year. She did well at the Majors, with a top ten at the British and two more that just missed the top ten at the KPMG and Evian. She made over $800K and finished 16th on the money list. Amazingly, that was only good enough for third in the rookie standings behind Hyo Joo Kim and Sei Young Kim.

Minjee also became the top Australian women's golfer in the Rolex rankings, climbing ahead of Karrie Webb, who had been number one for more than a decade. She looks good to be on the Olympic team in Rio in 2016.

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