A famous story in women’s golf in Korea has been once again proven to be true. The 74th U.S. Women’s Open (total purse of 5.5 million U.S. dollars), second major tournament of the season, was held at the Country Club of Charleston in South Carolina.
“Hot Six” Lee Jung-eun won her first major LPGA title at the U.S. Women’s Open on Monday. She finished at 6-under 278 with a two-stroke lead over three players, including Ryu So-yeon. The number “6” was indeed a magic number for Lee.
The winner of the 2016 Rookie Award at the KLPGA had no rivals in Korea in 2017. She won four tournaments that season, becoming the leading money winner, having the most KLPGA Tour wins, holding the lowest stroke record and receiving the grand prize. Becoming the money winner and setting the lowest stroke record once again in 2018, she decided to join LPGA and won the qualifying school the same year.
Lee shot a birdie on the second hole (par-4) after having a bogey on the first. She was tied for the lead on the 11th (par-3) with a birdie. Her back-to-back birdies in the 11th and 12th gave her the sole lead. She did not lose the lead after that to win the first 1-million-dollar prize money, the biggest check ever handed out to the winner of LPGA tournaments. Adding the incentive from her main sponsor (70 percent of the prize money), she will be getting approximately 2 billion won.
Lee, who is leading the Rookie of the Year race this season, is expected to jump from No.17 to No. 5 in world rankings thanks to her win at the U.S. Women’s Open.