If you don’t think caddies are important, you need to examine the case of 19-year-old rookie Min Lee, who finished fifth on the Epson Tour’s Volvik Race for the Card money list and was the Gaelle Truet Rookie of the Year in 2014.
At the first two events of the year, Lee made the cut but finished outside the top 30. With her coach, Charlotta Sorenstam, the sister of Annika and an LPGA Tour winner herself (2000 Standard Register PING), serving as her caddie in Lake Wales at the third event, Lee finished in a tie for sixth. Lee is one of a growing number of success stories of the ANNIKA Academy, which is the official elite golf training academy of the Epson Tour.
Fast forward through April, May and June which included an occasional top 10 and some inconsistent play, Lee once again struck gold when she hired former Epson Tour and LPGA Tour player Meaghan Francella to be her caddie.
It was late July and the Tour was on the northeast swing in Albany, which is just two hours north of Francella’s Port Chester, New York hometown.
All they did was team up to break the 36-hole SEFCU Championship at Capital Hills scoring record and finished solo second. Lee would have won the event if Sadena Parks didn’t tie the course record on the final day with a 9-under 62. Disappointed yet gracious beyond her teenage years, Lee waited for over an hour until after the trophy ceremony concluded to congratulate Parks.
The unlikely duo teamed up again in September to close the year with a tie for second, a win at the Garden City Charity Classic and a tie for seventh at the Epson Tour Championship.
On multiple occasions at the end of the season, Lee would utter “Meaghan is my hero”.
Lee’s pretty good herself. She finished fifth on Tour in scoring average (71.53) and ninth in Greens in Regulation (74%). Keep in mind that she was the second youngest player on the Epson Tour (behind Cindy Feng).
The Lee-Francella combination had great chemistry and they will team up again on the LPGA Tour in 2015.
Francella is not the only LPGA player that Lee will know well when she tees off in Ocala. Lee has looked up to and become close to fellow Taiwanese golfer Yani Tseng.
She would often say, “I want to be No. 1 in the world like Yani one day”.Lee will get her chance to purse that goal in 2015.