MIN LEE COMES THROUGH ON FIRST HOLE OF PLAYOFF
It took 55 holes, but Min Lee (Taoyuan City, Chinese Taipei) came through with a par on No. 18 in the first extra frame of a sudden-death playoff to win the second annual Valley Forge Invitational this afternoon at Raven’s Claw Golf Club. The victory is Lee’s second on the Symetra Tour, as she captured the Garden City Charity Classic title back in 2014.
“Every win means something and it feels like it has been awhile since last time I won in the United States,” said Lee, who fired a 5-under par 66 in the final round to conclude the tournament at 15-under overall. “After I finished, I got a lot of texts from my friends and family supporting me. Especially watching Facebook, people keep posting and cheering for me. It was amazing to have that.”
Furthermore, the performance comes as an early birthday gift to herself. Even though Lee doesn’t turn 24 on American soil until tomorrow, the clock struck midnight back in her hometown as she hit her second shot into the par-5 10th. The rest may have well been written in the stars.
“I had low expectations, came here wanting to have a good week and play good golf,” Lee said. “Luckily, I had a good start on Friday with a 7-under and that gave me a lot of confidence. This week has been great and tells me I am moving in the right direction, so I’m going to go with it.”
ESTHER LEE TURNS IN CAREER-BEST PERFORMANCE
Coming out on the wrong side of the sudden-death playoff didn’t sit well with Esther Lee (Los Alamitos, California), but the showing of solo second in Pottstown, Pa. marks a career-best for the University of Colorado alumna in her second season on the Symetra Tour.
Lee carded only two bogeys over three rounds and executed her gameplan as she hoped. Even with the strong play, all it took was finding the greenside bunker on the first playoff hole to erase what could have been following a 6-under par 65 for the final round.
“I had a really solid week, it’s a little hard to swallow playing so well today and then make the mistakes I didn’t make during the week on the playoff hole,” Lee said. “I pulled it and hooked it. They had been my misses all week and finally got to me a little bit. Overall, it was a good learning experience.”
VOLVIK RACE FOR THE CARD STANDINGS AFTER WEEK NINE
Following the ninth tournament of the 2019 Symetra Tour season, the Volvik Race for the Card welcomes a fresh top-10.
The victory and $18,750 winner’s check move Min Lee from unranked to No. 27, having earned $18,750 across three starts this season. Here is a look at the current top-10 heading into the eighth annual Four Winds Invitational at Blackthorn Golf Club in South Bend, Ind. from June 7-9:
1. Leona Maguire (County Cavan, Ireland) - $74,993
2. Julieta Granada (Asuncion, Paraguay) - $55,680
3. Nuria Iturrios (Mallorca, Spain) - $53,508
4. Perrine Delacour (Paris, France) - $45,652
5. Jillian Hollis (Rocky River, Ohio) - $39,885
6. Maria Parra (Guadiaro, Spain) - $35,044
7. Maddie Szeryk (London, Ontario, Canada) - $33,631
8. Min Seo Kwak (Seoul, Republic of Korea) - $31,661
9. Cydney Clanton (Concord, North Carolina) - $31,204
10. Lauren Coughlin (Charlottesville, Virginia) - $30,710
Perrine Delacour (-12, T3) on capturing a third straight top-five finish:
"Definitely good golf, unfortunately today I was still a little short, but I had a really good comeback. I shot 3-under over the last four holes, so that’s good for next week. In the middle of the round, I forgot to have some food and was a little off. I told myself to keep doing it, trust and have confidence. I’m really happy with the way I finished because I haven’t done that very many times.”
Jenny Coleman (-12, T3) on a 3-under par final round and staying in the hunt down the stretch:
“Came in with two good birdie chances, both lipped out. The last two holes could have capitalized, but it just wasn’t my luck. Hit the ball pretty well all day and gave myself a lot of birdie chances, made a couple and left some out there. Had a rough patch in the middle, but got up and down three straight times to keep the no bogey train going.”
Krystal Quihuis (-11, 5th) on capturing a career-best result of solo fifth at the Valley Forge Invitational:
“I don’t know where to start. It was really good overall, was a little nervous to start the final round. Then all of a sudden I focused on playing my own game and make as many birdies as possible, just like the last two days. Kept grinding out there, giving it my all and doing the very best that I could."
- Lee, 23, is a native of Taoyuan City, Chinese Taipei
- Two-time winner on the China Amateur Golf Tour in 2012
- 2014 Symetra Tour graduate and Gaelle Truett Rookie of the Year
- Competed in 18 events on “Road to the LPGA” in 2014 and played the weekend 16 times
- Recorded eight top-10 finishes that season including a win at the Garden City Charity Classic
- Total of 83 starts on the LPGA Tour since rookie year in 2015 with career-best T12 at 2015 U.S. Women’s Open
- Captured victories at both the 2018 CLPGA Women’s China Open and 2018 TLPGA Taiwan Mobile Ladies Open