Rookie Minjee Lee Wins Kingsmill Championship

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Minjee Lee trophy
Minjee Lee poses with the Kingsmill Championship trophy. (Ty Hodges/WYDaily)

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After earning a No. 1 world ranking as an amateur golfer, 18-year-old Australian Minjee Lee has a new claim to fame: LPGA Tour champion.

On Monday morning, Lee was crowned Kingsmill Championship tournament champion after Sunday's final round had to be suspended because of darkness.

Lee, who played three holes Monday morning at 7 a.m., finished the tournament at 15-under par, which was two shots ahead of South Korea's So Yeon Ryu. In winning the tournament, Lee becomes the seventh player in LPGA Tour history to win a tournament event before their 19th birthday.

Minjee Lee receives her tournament championship check. (Ty Hodges/WYDaily)
Minjee Lee receives her tournament championship check. (Ty Hodges/WYDaily)

With her birthday less than two weeks away, Lee seemed happy with her early gift to herself – a tournament check worth $195,000.

When asked about how it felt to become a tournament champion, Lee responded as candidly as one might expect from an 18-year-old.

"Pretty damn good," she laughed.

Coming into the day holding a four-stroke lead, Lee faced some early adversity Monday morning.

On the 16th hole, Lee triple-putted to bogey the hole, giving a glimmer of hope to the rest of the tournament field. Despite the rough start, Lee said the early misplay did not rattle her.

"The goal was to make, well, the two and a half holes I had left to make pars," she said.

And she did.

Lee handled her business on the 17th and 18th holes, finishing her final round with a 6-under 65.

Fellow LPGA Tour rookie Alison Lee made one last charge, making up a stroke on Minjee Lee after logging a birdie on the 15th hole. Alison Lee's tee shot on the 18th hole all but ended her comeback attempt.

Alison Lee's shot sailed left of the fairway into the deep rough. Her second shot was not much better, as she hit her way out of the rough, but sailed the ball over the fairway and out of bounds. By the time it was all said and done, Alison Lee bogeyed the 18th hole to finish the tournament at 12-under par.

"On 18 I just kind of gave up on myself, and I shouldn't have done that," she said. "I should've finished strong."

To see the final standings from the Kingsmill Championship, click here.

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Rookie Minjee Lee Wins Kingsmill Championship