Five-under, five-hole stretch propels Australian rookie to first LPGA win
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., June 8, 2015 – Not even a weather delay that forced one more day of play could stop rookie Minjee Lee from delivering an incredible back-nine performance in her first victory on the LPGA Tour just nine days shy of her 19th birthday. The Australian rookie reeled off three birdies and an eagle in a five-hole stretch from holes 11-15 to seize control of the Kingsmill Championship and earn Kia’s Most Compelling Performance Award for the month of May. Kia is the Official Automotive Partner of the LPGA.
TWEET IT! Minjee Lee earns April #LPGAKiaAwards w/ 5-under, 5-hole stretch @KingsmillLPGA – Re-watch here: http://www.lpga.com/videos/minjee-lee-wins-the-2015-kingsmill-championship-presented-by-jtbc
Minjee Lee began her final round of the Kingsmill Championship just two strokes back from leader Perrine Delacour, who was 11-under for the tournament, but found herself tied with both Allison Lee and So Yeon Ryu after a front nine, 2-under-par 34.
Lee was just getting started, making birdie not once, not twice but three times from holes No. 11 – 14. She then drained a lengthy eagle at the 15th hole before marking her ball on the 16th when play halted for darkness, heading towards the clubhouse with a four-shot lead over Alison Lee.
When play resumed early Monday morning at 7 a.m., Minjee found trouble on the 16th green when she three-putted for bogey on her first hole of the day. Alison Lee made her putt for birdie at the par-5 15th and cut Minjee’s lead in half. Minjee did not let her bogey get to her and closed out her round with two two-putt pars to card a 6-under 65 to finish four clear of Ryu and Alison at 15-under-par 269. Minjee became only the seventh player in Tour history to win before her 19th birthday.
The 2015 Kia Most Compelling Performance Award winner will be announced at the season-ending 2015 CME Group Tour Championship following an online fan vote (fan voting begins October 1, 2015). Previous winners of the 2015 monthly awards were Cristie Kerr for her win at the Kia Classic in March and Sei Young Kim for her thrilling playoff victory at the LOTTE Championship Presented by HERSHEY in April.
Achievements may include a single tournament, multiple tournaments, single-round accomplishments or
record-breaking performances. Winners of all the 2015 Kia Performance Awards will receive an all-new 2016 Kia Sorento, Kia’s best-selling CUV.
The 2015 Kia Performance Awards are:
- Kia Power Drive - Awarded to the player with the longest driving distance
- Kia Drive to the Top - Awarded to the player with the most top-10 finishes
- Kia Most Compelling Performance - Recognizes a player with an exceptional performance throughout the year; this award will be awarded monthly then the year-end winner will be chosen by fans through an online vote
- Kia Community Assist - Recognizing a player who makes exceptional contributions to charity organizations or community programs