Information tumbled in Minjee Lee’s wake on the US Girls’s Open on Sunday.
The Australian claimed the very best payout in girls’s golf historical past in Southern Pines, North Carolina, cruising to her second main triumph with a record-breaking efficiency worthy of the $1.eight million prize.
Lee headed into the final day using the tide of an unprecedented first three rounds, taking pictures 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 didn’t cease the 26-year-old from breaking the 72-hole championship scoring file, pipping Inkster, In Gee Chun and Annika Sorenstam by one stroke along with her 13-under 271 end.
Main by six pictures on the 12th gap and ending 4 strokes forward of American Mina Harigae, her victory had 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 World Sport. “Nevertheless it was fairly cool.
“Strolling down that 18th gap … taking a look at all the group, wanting on the end line – it was only a actually particular second.”
In lifting the Harton S. Semple trophy, Lee grew to become 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.eight 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 biggest runner-up sum in girls’s golf historical past, taking residence $1.08 million of the file $10 million general prize purse.
Although prize purses for ladies 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 larger and better every time,” Lee mentioned. “For the USGA and the US Open to step up and begin that, it’s a giant step in the proper course.
“It’s an excellent factor for the ladies’s sport and the LPGA.”
Questions of cash have dominated world this week with the profitable inaugural LIV Golf Tournament set to tee off on the Centurion Membership close to London on Thursday.
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 don’t actually know an excessive amount of about that, clearly it’s been a bit bit controversial,” Lee mentioned.
“I assume it’s simply perspective on the place you’re in your life proper now,” she added.
Triumph in Southern Pines marked the second main of the Australian’s profession, including to her triumph on the Evian Championship final 12 months, 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 following era of younger golfers.
“Hopefully they will watch me on TV and I generally is a nice position mannequin for all the women and boys all all over the world to comply with your goals,” Lee mentioned. “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’re keen on then I feel you’re all the time going to be doing the proper factor.”
Her rise to turn out to be the No. three golfer on the earth 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.
“This one hits onerous. Tears in my eyes. So so proud,” he tweeted following his sister’s triumph, in simply one other instance of the “nice help” Lee’s household have given her since she burst onto the scene with victory at the usGirls’ Junior in 2012.
“They’ve been with me each step of the way in which and I’ve solely all the time received encouragement from them,” she mentioned.
“If I needed to observe, I may go observe. If I didn’t then I didn’t should. They’ve simply all the time been an excellent help and nonetheless are and it’s simply been a extremely nice journey to date.”