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Minjee Lee joined Australia’s greatest golfers of all time as a multiple major champion with a blistering win at the US Women’s Open in North Carolina.

Lee converted a three-shot third-round lead into a four-shot triumph at Pine Needles Country Club to pocket a record check for $1.8 million (A$2.5 million).

The 26-year-old finished at 13 under par for the tournament after closing with a 71 on Sunday.

Lee is the third Australian to win the US Women’s Open, the biggest event in women’s golf, after Karrie Webb (2000 and 2001) and Jan Stephenson (1983).

“I’m speechless. I can’t believe it right now,” Lee said.

“It’s just super, super special and a big honor and it’s been my dream since I was a small goal, the one I always wanted to win.

“So now I’ve done it and it’s just amazing.”

The Perth star’s dominating victory follows his first major championship breakthrough at Evian last July and is expected to lift Lee from fourth to second in the world.

The 2022 US Women’s Open has made a total purse of $10 million (A$14 million) – the biggest prize pool in women’s golf history.

“It’s such a large sum and I’m truly honored to be the first sum winner, but we’re only going to get better,” Lee said.

“We are just moving in the right direction.”

The win also elevated Lee to esteemed company status as the sixth Australian golfer to win multiple majors.

Webb, with seven major championships, Stephenson (3) and big men Peter Thomson (5), Greg Norman (2) and David Graham (2) are the only other Australians to have won more than one.

After starting the final round three shots ahead, Lee nearly slammed the door on the chasing pack with back-to-back birdies on the first two holes to charge five clear.

The world No. 4 then bogeyed on the fifth and seventh holes, but still reached the bend where she had started at 13 under par, while her American playing partner Mina Harigae lost a stroke to slip four behind.

Lee turned the back nine into a procession as his opponents fell, with Harigae (72) finishing second.

Already the 2022 LPGA Tour scoring average leader and victorious in her last two starts in stroke play, Lee’s next target will be the PGA Women’s Championship from June 23-26.

She could potentially replace Korea’s Jin Young Ko as world No. 1 if she wins at the Congressional Country Club in Maryland.




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