Minjee Lee
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Only the record book stood in the way of Minjee Lee on Sunday at Pine Needles.

During the final round of the U.S. Women’s Open on Sunday, Minjee Lee chose not to pursue one of the best fields in women’s golf because she was too busy chasing history.

Having led by three heading into the final round at Pine Needles, Lee shot even-par 71 to finish at 13-under 271, setting a U.S. Women’s Open scoring record.

She defeated Mina Harigae by four points and Hyejin Choi by six. The contest was never as close as it appeared.

The USGA dialed up a golf course whose defense is its green complexes, and the field scoring average rose above 75 (it was the first time this week it went beyond 74).

But it didn’t matter. Lee birdied her first two holes to take control and never looked back.

After the tournament was effectively over, she made two bogeys on her last three holes, bringing it to 15 under at one point.

On the week, Lee gained over 24 strokes on the field average, an incredible number that is rarely reached in majors but almost always assures victory.

Her playing partner Harigae battled Lydia Ko and Hyejin Choi for the $1 million runner-up prize (the largest prize in women’s golf history) more than she ever did to threaten Lee’s lead.

The win is Lee’s second of 2022 and her second in her last three starts. A month ago, she won the Cognizant Founders Cup at 19 under par by two over Lexi Thompson.

The win is also her second major championship win in four starts (she won the Evian Championship last year) and her fourth top-12 finish in a row.

There is still room for improvement for the No. 4 golfer in the world.

Nanna Koerstz Madsen 2023: Net Worth, Salary, Endorsement, Stats, Husband

“I’m speechless. I can’t believe it right now,” Lee said on NBC. “It’s super, super special, and such a great honor. It’s been my dream since I was a little girl. It’s the one I’ve always wanted to win, and now I’ve done it. This feels amazing.”

Currently, Lee holds the 54-hole U.S. Women’s Open scoring record of 200 and the 72-hole record of 271. 

The tournament was won by her, making her the seventh golfer to take a three-stroke (or more) lead going into the final round since 2000.

As part of the tournament that will be remembered for how it reset the record books, Lee’s 271 eclipses the 272s shot by Annika Sorenstam (1996), Juli Inkster (1999), and In Gee Chun (2015).

Lowest 72-hole score in U.S. Women’s Open

  • 2022: Minjee Lee 271
  • 2015: In Gee Chun 272
  • 1999: Juli Inkster 272
  • 1996: Annika Sorenstam 272 

Lee’s record wasn’t the only one made at this event. 

Ingrid Lindblad, who plays college golf at LSU, shot the lowest score ever for an amateur at the U.S. Women’s Open (65) and set scoring records for 18-, 36-, and 54-hole rounds at this tournament.

She also set the second-lowest 72-hole score ever. 

While she was undone by a 76 on Sunday, she still finished T11 and was one of just 13 golfers to finish below par on the week.

“[I learned] it is possible to score low,” said Lindblad, who finished runner up at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur earlier this year.

“Overall, it was a great week, and I feel like my game is trending in the right direction.”

This year was the first time the U.S. Women’s Open had a sponsor, which increased the prize money to $10 million and paid Lee $1.8 million for winning the tournament. Harigae earned just over $1 million for finishing runner-up. 

The figures (total, first, and second) are the biggest they’ve ever been. 

Yuto Katsuragawa 2023: Net Worth, Salary, Endorsement, Stats, Wife

I’m not sure how any of that affected the contenders down the stretch, but it is notable as the best tournament in women’s golf gets pushed into the modern spotlight.

There were falling numbers everywhere at Pine Needles. The event has seen the fewest strokes in its 77-year history. 

A women’s golf tournament has never earned more money. 

While the home stretch was not exactly thrilling – Lee’s performance eliminated any drama (or doubt from the proceedings) – this year’s Women’s Open will always be remembered as a historic event, both in the moment and 20 years.

Introducing Al Amin Sagor, a perilously acclaimed author and movie expert. He has a passion for film and is known for his meticulous movie reviews that provide readers with an exhaustive understanding of the latest releases. In addition to reviews, Al Amin Sagor also writes about how to watch movies and the best films to watch across different genres and eras, providing readers with a complete guide to the world of cinema.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here