Minjee Lee did not get a dousing with the tradition champagne on the 18th green often afforded those who win for the first time on the LPGA Tour.
She instead signed autographs as well as posed for photographs with her fans behind the green at 18 on the River Course at Kingsmill Resort, while she waited to see if her lead of two-shots would be enough through the last pairing of the day.
When her lead held up, the surprise of winning was plenty for the Australian who is just 18 years of age.
She said she did not think she would win this year, but is stoked that she did. She was able to overcome a bogey after three putting on her opening hole Monday morning before clinching it with two pars.
Lee turned pro this past September and had seen other rookies such as Kyo Joo Kim and Sei Young win this season. She was able to join them after a big charge on Sunday to take the lead.
She enjoyed of run of 5-under over a stretch of five holes and started Monday with a lead of four shots over Alison Lee.
However, the three-putt bogey from just 15 feet on the 16th coupled with a birdie by Alison Lee on the 15th cut her lead to just two. However, she finished with two pars to end her final round with a 6-under 65.
She became just the seventh player to win on tour prior to turning 19, joining a group that includes Lexi Thompson, Paula Creamer and the world’s No. 1 player Lydia Ko.
When darkness halted Sunday’s play, Lee marked her ball at 16. On Monday morning, she looked in trouble for a brief time following her 7 a.m. start time. Her first put on 16 slid by the hole some 4 feet and she missed her comebacker.
However, she remained calm and did not let that mistake hurt her game over her final two holes. A pair of pars on 17 and 18 helped her hold the lead and she earned a winner’s check of $195,000.
So Yeon Ryu made three straight birdies to finished second after Alison Lee dropped to third following a final hole bogey.
Like fellow competitor Minjee Lee, Alison Lee was going to play on Monday at a qualifier for the U.S. Open. The USGA allowed Lee to switch to another qualifying site on Tuesday since the tournament did not end until Monday morning.
Perrin Delacour led the tournament entering the final round on Sunday. However, the pride of France shot a final round 71 to end up fourth.