CHAMPIONS
Champs Update: Another Win for Minjee, Mallon's Call to the Hall October 24, 2016 By David Shefter, USGA

Sunday's success in China gave 20-year-old Minjee Lee her third LPGA victory, just four years after winning the U.S. Girls' Junior. (USGA/Steven Gibbons)

Seven players have now won more than once on the LPGA Tour in 2016, and three of them are USGA champions.

Minjee Lee, the 2012 U.S. Girls’ Junior champion, became the latest to join the multiple-win club with her one-stroke victory on Sunday in the Blue Bay LPGA at Jian Lake in Hainan Island, China,joining 2011 Girls’ Junior champion Ariya Jutanugarn and 2012 U.S. Women’s Amateur champion Lydia Ko.

Lee, 20, of Australiaa, who captured the Lotte Championship in April at Ko Olina in Hawaii, chipped to 3 feet on the par-5 18th hole to set up what would be the winning birdie. Jessica Korda, the 2010 U.S. Women’s Amateur runner-up, had a chance to force a playoff but couldn’t convert her 18-foot birdie try on the final hole. Lee rebounded from a disappointing third-round 73, which saw her relinquish the six-stroke lead she held through 36 holes. She closed with a 2-under-par 70 for a 13-under total of 275.

#lpgawinnerselfie with @minjee27 at the #bluebaylpga

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Lee’s victory came five days after Typhoon Sarika blew through the South China Sea beach resort. Because of the storm, Lee and other LPGA Tour members didn’t arrive at the tournament site until Wednesday from last week's event in the Republic of Korea. Lee finished tied for 37th in the KEB Hana Bank Championship.

“I really came into this week with no expectations because last week, I just played OK, and I was like, ‘Oh, maybe I’ll have a better week this week,’” said Lee, who registered her first LPGA Tour victory last year in the Kingsmill Championship. She finished tied for 37th in the KEB Hana Bank Championship, in the Republic of Korea, last week. “[I] just wanted to have fun.”

With her mother and grandmother in attendance, Lee did just that.

“My nan, she’s my biggest supporter,” said Lee. “I love having her around. She normally comes around for the Asian swing, so yeah, it’s nice to have won in front of her.”

It’s been a big year for the Lee family. Minjee’s younger brother, Min Woo, won the U.S. Junior Amateur in July at The Honors Course in Ooltewah, Tenn. She also represented Australia in the Olympics .

2016 #USJuniorAm champion @minwoo27lee shares a moment with his sister @minjee27.

A video posted by United States Golf Association (@usga) on


Jutanugarn, who owns five victories in 2016, finished third at 11-under 277.

Michelle Wie, the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open champion, tied for 10th, marking her best finish of year. She was one of 13 golfers to finish under par, despite closing with a 74. Marijo Uribe, the 2007 U.S. Women’s Amateur champion, also tied for 10th at 1-under 287.

Mallon’s Hall Call

Two-time U.S. Women’s Open champion Meg Mallon found out last week that she will be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in September. Mallon, who won the Women’s Open in 1991 and 2004, is joined in the 2017 class by 1985 USA Walker Cup competitor Davis Love III, Lorena Ochoa, Ian Woosnam and former journalist/TV broadcaster Henry Longhurst. Mallon’s 13 years between victories is the longest in U.S. Women’s Open history. 


In 2004, she shot a final-round 65 at the Orchards Golf Club in South Hadley, Mass., to edge three-time champion Annika Sorenstam by two strokes. Mallon carded a 67 in the final round in 1991 at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, for a two-stroke victory over World Golf Hall of Fame member Pat Bradley.

Mallon finished her career with 18 LPGA Tour victories, including four major titles. She also won the 1991 LPGA Championship and 2000 du Maurier Classic.

Junior Achievement

Texans Kaitlyn Papp and Hailee Cooper, who teamed up to win the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball title in May at Streamsong Resort in Florida, have been named American Junior Golf Association Rolex All-Americans. Papp, of Austin, was a first-team selection, while Cooper, of Montgomery, was named to the second team.


Another Texan, 2016 U.S. Junior Amateur runner-up Noah Goodwin, of Corinth, was named the Boys Player of the Year.

The  Rolex Junior All-Americans and Players of the Year will be honored Nov. 20 during a banquet at the PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Moving On

Princess Mary Superal, who won the 2014 U.S. Girls’ Junior at Forest Highlands in Flagstaff, Ariz., was one of 85 golfers to advance to the final stage of 2016 LPGA Tour Q-School on Sunday. Stage II of qualifying was held at the Plantation Golf & Country Club in Venice, Fla. Superal, of the Philippines, shot 6-over 294 to tie for 40th. The low 80 scorers and ties advanced to the final stage, which will take place Nov. 28-Dec. 4 in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Three members of this year’s victorious Great Britain & Ireland Curtis Cup Team also advanced, including Bronte Law, of England. She was joined by countrywoman Charlotte Thomas and 2016 Mark H. McCormack Medal winner Leona Maguire, of Ireland.

David Shefter is a senior staff writer for the USGA. Email him at dshefter@usga.org.

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