Perth prodigy Minjee Lee has not only made the 2015 LPGA Tour, she’s done it style, winning this morning’s Q-School in Florida.
Lee, 18, fired a 73 on the Hills Course at the LPGA International near Daytona to rise from third before the final round to share medallist honours with American amateur Alison Lee at 10 under par after five rounds.
On a day of mixed emotions for the four of the original nine Aussies who reached the final round, Coffs Harbour’s Emma de Groot secured conditional LPGA Tour status next year when she finished tied 38th at even par.
But the hard-luck tale belongs to Perth’s Jayde Panos who agonisingly missed the 21-45 slots by one stroke in a tie for 46th at two over par.
Melbourne’s Su-hyun Oh will join Panos on the secondary Symetra Tour after a weekend she’d rather forget and a tie for 70th.
Golf Australia rookie pro Lee had nearly to fall over to not make the top 20 cut for an LPGA card, but she kept control of her fate as several of the pre-round leaders fell away.
Lee, the runaway Victorian Open champion in February, was one under par through 15 holes in her final round, and only bogeys on the 16th and 17th allowed the American to join her atop the leaderboard.
An early birdie put de Groot in the mix for a full card, but she made bogeys on the fifth, sixth and 14th holes to drop out of the top 20 by four shots.
Panos, similarly, was in the 21-45 mix before bogeys on the 13th and 16th consigned her to an even-par round and a year on the development tour.
Oh, who had been 13th after two rounds, made seven bogeys and a double en route to an 80 and Symetra Tour rights.