US Girls’s Open champion Minjee Lee displays on a ‘huge step’ for girls’s golf after historic payout

The Australian claimed the best payout in ladies’s golf historical past in Southern Pines, North Carolina, cruising to her second main triumph with a record-breaking efficiency worthy of the $1.8 million prize.

Lee headed into the final day driving the tide of an unprecedented first three rounds, capturing 67, 66, 67 to interrupt Juli Inkster’s 23-year-old file throughout 54 holes with a 13-under par 200.

The scintillating begin meant that even a level-par 71 on the ultimate spherical did not cease the 26-year-old from breaking the 72-hole championship scoring file, pipping Inkster, In Gee Chun and Annika Sorenstam by one stroke together with her 13-under 271 end.

Main by six photographs on the twelfth gap and ending 4 strokes forward of American Mina Harigae, her victory had seemed to be a procession even earlier than the Australian took to the ultimate tee — however to not Lee.

“I used to be nervous as hell,” Lee admitted to CNN’s Coy Wire. “However it was fairly cool.

“Strolling down that 18th gap … all the group, trying on the end line — it was only a actually particular second.”

Lee cruised to victory with a dominant performance in Southern Pines.

‘It is an excellent factor for the ladies’s sport’

In lifting the Harton S. Semple trophy, Lee turned the primary Australian to take action since Karrie Webb in 2001, and was rewarded for her efforts with a champagne bathe courtesy of compatriot Hannah Inexperienced.

The opposite reward was the unprecedented $1.8 million prize pot. That sum alone eclipses Lee’s winnings for her most worthwhile ever season in 2018, the place 10 prime 5 finishes over 27 LPGA occasions noticed her declare over $1.5 million, primarily based on figures from the LPGA website.

Second-placed Harigae earned the most important runner-up sum in ladies’s golf historical past, taking residence $1.08 million of the file $10 million total prize purse.

Lee plays a shot on the 17th hole.
Although prize purses for girls within the sport nonetheless path these of the lads — Jon Rahm earned $2.25 million from a complete $12.5 million purse for his US Open triumph in June 2021 — Lee sees progress being made.

“We’re aiming for increased and better every time,” Lee stated. “For the USGA and the US Open to step up and begin that, it is a huge step in the suitable route.

“It is an excellent factor for the ladies’s sport and the LPGA.”

Questions of cash have dominated {the golfing} world this week with the profitable inaugural LIV Golf Tournament set to tee off on the Centurion Membership close to London on Thursday.
Dustin Johnson resigns from PGA Tour to play in LIV Golf series, as Phil Mickelson returns to golf to play in event
The enterprise, backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Funding Fund, pledges to award $250 million in complete prize cash throughout eight tournaments. Former World No. 1 Dustin Johnson announced he was resigning from the PGA Tour to compete within the occasion.

Whereas Lee admitted she hadn’t been following the story carefully, she understood the controversy the brand new occasion had attracted.

“I do not actually know an excessive amount of about that, clearly it has been a bit bit controversial,” Lee stated.

“I assume it is simply perspective on the place you might be in your life proper now,” she added.

Function mannequin

Triumph in Southern Pines marked the second main of the Australian’s profession, including to her triumph on the Evian Championship final yr, and her eighth win on the LPGA Tour.

However regardless of the accolades, Lee is focusing on a legacy past prize cash and trophies — inspiring the subsequent era of younger golfers.

“Hopefully they will watch me on TV and I generally is a nice function mannequin for all the women and boys all world wide to observe your goals,” Lee stated. “You are able to do it. Anyone can do it.

“So long as you keep on with your plan and keep on with what you like then I feel you are all the time going to be doing the suitable factor.”

Her rise to change into the No. 3 golfer on the planet has been aided by the encouragement of her household, none extra so than youthful brother Min Woo Lee, a golf professional himself on the PGA Tour.

Min Woo Lee smiles with his sister  Minjee Lee during the par three contest prior to the Masters in April.
“This one hits laborious. Tears in my eyes. So so proud,” he tweeted following his sister’s triumph, in simply one other instance of the “nice assist” Lee’s household have given her since she burst onto the scene with victory on the U.S Women’ Junior in 2012.

“They have been with me each step of the way in which and I’ve solely all the time received encouragement from them,” she stated.

“If I wished to follow, I may go follow. If I did not then I did not need to. They’ve simply all the time been an excellent assist and nonetheless are and it is simply been a extremely nice journey to this point.”

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