Coming off a third-round 66 at the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship, 2022 Rolex First Time Winner Andrea Lee stopped by for a press conference to discuss her success on Saturday at The Saticoy Club. As Lee was speaking to the media, her friend Danielle Kang approached the microphone and joked, “If Andrea Lee ever says she can’t putt again, I’m going to chuck my putter!”
Indeed, Lee CAN putt and her performance on the greens has been a key to her success this season. The So-Cal native, who earned her first Tour victory at the AmazingCre Portland Classic just three weeks ago, is ranked 15th on the LPGA Tour in putts per greens in regulation (1.76) and 21st in putting average (29.34). In Portland, Lee ranked first in the field in average putts per GIR and needed just 111 putts to make it through four rounds, also the least in the field. Putting was once again the key to her success on Saturday in Somis, as she needed just 27 putts to get to -9 overall.
“I didn't really think I would be able to shoot 6-under at the beginning of the week when I saw the golf course. I played it for first time a few months ago and I thought it was really difficult,” Lee said. “I played really well today. Hit a lot of fairways, greens and only had one bogey on the card, but the putter definitely worked better today compared to the last two days… I feel like every week putting is always key to being in contention or potentially winning a golf tournament.”
During her first and second round at The Saticoy Club, Lee shot 71-70, and felt she struggled with her putting on both days, prompting the 21-year-old to go out and get some extra reps on the practice putting green Friday afternoon. There, she chatted with the 28-year-old Kang, who she considers a role model.
“Yesterday I was joking with her on the putting green that I couldn't putt because I had two birdies yesterday. That's probably why she came up and said what she did,” Lee laughed. “Danielle is kind of like a big sister to me… She's someone that I look up to, too. She's a major champion, great player, and the fact that she's been able to come back from her injury this year and play so well and almost won in Arkansas is really inspiring.”