Updated: March, 2014

MINJEE LEE

The Facts

Birthday: May 27, 1996
Rookie Year on LPGA: Amateur
Birthplace: Perth, Australia
Residence: Perth, Australia
Best LPGA Finish: T-11th (2014 HANDA Women's Australian Open)
Best LPGA Major Finish: None
Height: Unknown
2014 LPGA Status: Amateur
Nicknames: None Known
How's her English?: Fluent
Road to the LPGA: Not on tour

Capsule Bio

Minjee Lee is a Korean-Australian girl 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.

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.

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Seoul Sisters Pix

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 plans to stay amateur until the end of 2014, then try out for LPGA Qualifying. Chances are she will be making a lot of noise before then!

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