Aussie golf star stuns with $470k playoff win
Minjee Lee is back on the winner’s list for the first time in 2023 after holding her nerve in a two-hole playoff with English star Charley Hull to secure victory at the $3m LPGA Tour’s Queen City Championship in Cincinnati.
A monster par putt on the 18th hole in regulation play sent Lee, who took a two-shot lead into the final day and led by as many as five, and Hull into the showdown having spent the entire day playing with each other.
Lee looked in the box seat to win on the opening playoff hole when Hull sent her approach through the green and into the grandstand as they played the 18th again.
But after taking relief, Hull’s putt did everything but go in, sitting tantalizingly on the edge of the hole, giving Lee a 5m putt for victory that she didn’t make.
Second time down the 18th, the third time for the day on the toughest hold on the course, from the same fairway rough, Lee played a stunning approach to just 1m, with Hull roughly in the same spot her opponent was on the first playoff hole.
Needing to make the monster putt to keep the playoff going, Hull’s attempt missed, leaving Lee to tap in for a birdie and her ninth LPGA Tour win.
For Lee it was a breakthrough after a lackluster 2023 season. The two-time major winner has fallen out of the top 10 to 13 in the world rankings.
Her victory, which came with a $470,000) winner’s cheque, will push Lee back inside the top 10.
“I had a few moments where I really felt like I was losing but I wasn’t,” she said.
“I was like let’s play to the end and see where we end up. I never gave up.
“I really wanted to reset my goals here, finish off on a high and I got the win, which is nice.”
The Australian star had been a regular winner before the 15-month drought, during which Lee recorded 13 top-20s and eight top-five finishes since her US Open triumph.
Lee is the third Australian to win on Tour this season joining tour rookie Grace Kim and Hannah Green.