More than a Game
Minjee Lee Minjee Lee
My ultimate goal in golf is to have a Grand Slam.

Minjee Lee

Minjee Lee

After winning the 2012 U.S. Girls` Junior Championship, a then 16-year-old Minjee Lee was asked about her golfing role models and she did not hesitate a second to say: "Tiger Woods, yeah, and Rory McIlroy." Looking back at the start of Minjee's career those where obvious picks, because like Tiger and Rory the so far five-time winner on the LPGA Tour was always destined to achieve the highest accolades of her sports from an early age on.

Her sensational amateur career, that not only saw her winning the U.S. Girls` Junior Championship but also back-to-back Australian Women's Amateur championship victories in 2013 and `14 was crowned by reaching the number one spot in the world amateur golf rankings in 2014. The Australian remained the highest ranked amateur in the world until she turned professional in September the same year.

Minjee made her professional debut on the major stage at the 2014 Evian Championship in France and was somewhat surprised how easy the transition from amateur to professional golf seemed to be for her: "I feel like it should be different. But not really. I feel really comfortable and I feel like I belong here." Her T16 finish that week backed that bold claim leaving no doubt that a new superstar had arrived on the professional scene.
During her rookie season Minjee wasted no time on the LPGA tour by winning as early as May 2015 at the Kingsmill Championship. Rain delayed the end of the tournament until Monday, but just before the sun went down on Sunday, Minjee played nearly perfect golf, amassing a four stroke lead by securing multiple birdies and an eagle. No competitor was able to make a run at her the next day and Minjee held on and collected her first career LPGA win. And there it was again, that almost unshakeable confidence in her own abilities and her rock solid golf swing: "I feel like I could probably do it again. Just kind of gives me confidence that I can play and win out here. This win is a great confidence booster." Minjee also pointed out, that golf is a team effort in the Lee family since her mother was not only the one who encouraged her to switch from swimming to golf at the age of nine but also travels with her all the time to provide her favorite food and also the moral support needed on the LPGA Tour. "I'm very lucky to have her out here. Just having someone out here I think is big. I mean, my mom is my main support. It's very nice to have her telling me that I'm good enough and I can win out here. And then there is the food. I like rice and soup. I'm still Asian even though I'm Australian."

I mean, my mom is my main support. It's very nice to have her telling me that I'm good enough and I can win out here.

Being fully acclimated on Tour starting her second professional season, Minjee again didn't need much time to find the top of her game. At the Kia Classic in April, she became the second woman in LPGA history to make a hole-in-one on a par 4 hole after Ha Na Jang, made the first ever LPGA Tour albatross only a couple of months earlier.
Only two weeks after that once in a lifetime shot, Minjee came roaring from behind at the Lotte Championship in Hawaii with a final round 64 to catch In Gee Chun and secure her second career LPGA win. Later that summer it was time to compete at the 2016 Olympics in Rio where Minjee was in awe of the rare opportunity to play for something bigger than just a paycheck: "You just sort of realize how big of an event it is and not just for yourself, because you're representing your country and for women's golf and all that." She finished tied for seventh place and left Rio de Janeiro feeling pretty good about her game.

I like rice and soup. I'm still Asian even though I'm Australian.

Only two months later Minjee won her second title of the year, the Blue Bay LPGA in China. With already three professional wins under her belt at the age of 20, Minjee was asked about her next objectives after such a successful season and once again, she set herself extremely lofty goals: "My ultimate goal is to have a Grand Slam. So I think that's always what I'll be working towards. But to achieve that I have to win major events. You can't have a Grand Slam without winning major events. Yeah, I think that's what I have to do."

The same year, Minjee's younger brother, Min Woo Lee, won the 2016 U.S. Junior Amateur, making them the first brother/sister pair to win the USGA's junior championships and showing the world that golf runs strong in the Lee family.

In 2017 and `18 Minjee was able to best her average scoring on the LPGA Tour year after year breaking the barriers of 70 strokes per round in 2018 with an average score of unbelievable 69.75 strokes per round, the second best on Tour that year. With 13 top ten finishes and a win at the LPGA Volvik Championship, 2018 turned out to be Minjee's most successful year on tour so far and saw her rising to the Top 5 of the world rankings for the first time in her career.

Wins on the LPGA Tours Hugel-Air Premia LA Open in 2019 and the Ladies European Tour's Omega Dubai Moonlight Classic in 2020 cemented her status as one of the best 10 female golfers in the world and a force to be reckoned with every single time she tees up at a golf tournament somewhere in the world.

With a third pace finish at the 2020 Women's British Open Minjee came close to that illusive first major win, the first step towards her ultimate goal in golf. Meanwhile, after a stellar amateur career, eight professional wins, five top ten finishes in major championships and being able to conquer the second place in war women's wold golf rankings in 2019 Minjee manages to keep such a low profile that even her hometown newspaper in Perth once described her as the "Invisible Champion of Australia". Theres nothing wrong with being almost invisible. It`s the champion part that's the most important.
Minjee Lee

Minjee Lee

Born: May 27th, 1996
Hometown: Perth, Australia
Turned professional: 2014
Professional wins: 9
Career Highlights:
  • 2014 & 2018 Oates Victorian Open (ALPGA Tour, 2014 as an amateur)
  • 2015 Kingsmill Championship (LPGA Tour)
  • 2016 Lotte Championship (LPGA Tour)
  • 2019 Hugel-Air Premia LA Open (LPGA Tour)
  • 2020 Omega Dubai Moonlight Classic (Ladies European Tour)
  • 2021 Amundi Evian Championship (Major)

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