Australian Minjee Lee fired the round of the day, a bogey-free 64, to claim a one shot victory and her second LPGA title at the LOTTE Championship on the Hawaiian island of Oahu.
“Well, yesterday I spoke to my coach and he was like, You’re only five back. Just shoot 8-under and you’ll be fine,” Lee said with a smile. “And I shot 8-under, so that was good.”
Lee started her day strong with a birdie on the first and didn’t look back tallying five more birdies and an eagle en route to her 8-under round. The key stretch for Lee was on 13-15 when she holed out a 35 yard chip for eagle on 13 and followed up with birdies on her next two holes to jump into a share of the lead with Katie Burnett.
“I think after I went eagle, birdie, birdie, I think the second birdie I was like, Oh, I’m going to be really close,” Lee explained. “I just did all I could do, and, yeah, here I am.”
A birdie on her 71st hole put Lee in the lead for good and helped her wrap up the second victory of her young career. With the win Lee becomes only the fifth player in LPGA Tour history to capture multiple victories before her 20th birthday joining a list which includes Lydia Ko, Lexi Thompson, Marlene Hagge and Sandra Haynie.
“I haven’t really thought about it that way,” Lee admitted. “I mean, as a player you’re always harder on yourself. No, I know that I’m doing pretty good, so I’m trying to be even better every day. That’s just my mindset.”
Lee won’t have much time to enjoy her win tonight, as she left the course following her time with the media to catch a flight to San Francisco for the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic, but the Aussie knows that it will help her going forward.
“Definitely a big confidence boost,” Lee said of the win. “Last couple of weeks I was there, but not quite there. Now my game seems to be coming together really well.”
Burnett and In Gee Chun, who each missed long birdie putts on the 72nd hole to potentially force a playoff, finished tied for second at 15-under, while Moriya Jutanugarn (-14) and Su-Yeon Jang (-13) rounded out the top-5.
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