Newsmaker of the Month: Minjee Lee

Coaches of sporting teams around the world will tell you that there’s nothing harder than having to win a
game twice.

When she led the Kroger Queen City Championship by five strokes with eight holes to play, West Australian Minjee Lee was at unbackable odds to win a ninth LPGA Tour title. Yet one double-bogey and three straight birdies from England’s Charley Hull left Lee needing to save par at the 72nd hole to force a playoff.

Growing confidence in her putting saw that five-foot knee-knocker drop, leaving Lee with a chance to improve on her career playoff record of 1-3.

Hull narrowly missed making an extraordinary putt from behind the green at the first playoff hole before a stroke of brilliance from the left rough on the next playoff hole left Lee with just two feet for birdie and the win.

It was her first win since the US Women’s Open last June and underlined a steely determination to not let another title slip through her fingers.

“Coming down the stretch, I never give up,” said Lee, who three-putted the first playoff hole to lose to Jin Young Ko at the Cognizant Founders Cup earlier in the season.

“I like to think that I’m always putting pressure on my opponents and not giving it up too easily. Obviously at Founders with Jin Young, that playoff didn’t go my way, so this one I really wanted to make it go my way.”


Harrison Crowe: The 2022 Asia-Pacific Amateur champion known for his viral video at St Andrews, Crowe announced that he would be turning professional, his first event as a pro to be the WA Open at Joondalup Resort from October 5-8.

Cameron Smith: Winner of the LIV Bedminster event, Australia’s No.1 male player confirmed that he will return home later in the year to contest both the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship and ISPS Handa Australian Open.

Aaron Wilkin: Broke through for
his first win on international soil, coming from seven strokes behind to win the BRG Open Golf Championship Danang in Vietnam on the Asian Development Tour.

World Sand Greens Championship: The inaugural championships for men and women will be played at Walcha Golf Club (women, April 9-10) and Binalong Golf Club (men, September 28-29) in 2024 with $140,000 in prizemoney on offer at each event.

Matias Sanchez: The Victorian topped First Stage of DP World Tour Qualifying School staged at Rosebud Country Club, with Andre Lautee, Cooper Eccleston and Lucas Higgins also earning exemptions into Second Stage in Spain in November.

Daniel Gale: Shot 65 in the final round to win the 2023 NT PGA Championship by four strokes, his first win on the PGA Tour of Australasia since his PNG Open title in his rookie season in 2018.

Gabi Ruffels: Confirmed her promotion to the LPGA Tour in 2024 with a third victory of the season on the Epson Tour, winning the Four Winds Invitational by three strokes.

Karrie Webb: Expanded her influence with the announcement of the Karrie Webb Coaching Scholarship in partnership with Nippon Shaft, aiming to support and further develop young female golf coaches.

Abbie Teasdale: The 21-year-old from WA won a four-hole playoff to be crowned English Women’s Open Strokeplay champion at Manchester Golf Club.

Connor McKinney: For the second straight year, the WA rookie made it through First Stage of DP World Tour Qualifying School, booking his spot at Second Stage by finishing second in a qualifier in Belgium.


That’s the number of playoff holes Matt Jones was forced to endure before ultimately going down to Spain’s Eugenio Lopez-Chacarra at the St Andrews Bay Championship. It is the longest sudden-death playoff in Asian Tour history. 

Getty images: Dylan Buell