For starters, Min Lee is not Minjee Lee. Folks get them mixed up all the time. For years, Min Lee pointed out, her bio page on a major golf website has featured Minjee Lee’s picture. The same thing happens in stories written about her back home in Taiwan. Even in Minjee’s native Australia, Min Lee gets mistaken for the five-time winner from Perth.
Min Lee took to her personal Facebook page to jokingly clear up the matter: “I am Min Lee, only six letters. Not too hard to member. I am from Taiwan.”
Min Lee doesn’t get worked up about the confusion. She’s used to it by now, and it’s easy to see from her infectious personality that she’s a good sport in general. After a narrow loss to Matilda Castren at last week’s LPGA Mediheal, Lee went out of her way to offer a heartfelt congrats.
“Obviously she played much better on the front,” Lee said of Castren’s incredible start, “so I’m not going to punish myself because it was a great week.”
Pure class 👏
— LPGA (@LPGA) June 14, 2021
So great, in fact, that Lee jumped into position to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, vaulting 150 spots to No. 126 in the Rolex Rankings.
Last week Lee aimed to become the first player to win on the Symetra Tour and LPGA in consecutive starts. After claiming her third Symetra title on May 30 at the Mission Inn Resort & Club Championship, Lee held the 54-hole lead at Mediheal for the first time since joining the LPGA in 2015.
Castren made history by becoming the first player from Finland to win a tournament with a sensational final-round 65. But Lee, with her delightful personality, bright smile and gutsy play, made a lot of new fans, too.
Lee said she feels comfortable this week in Michigan at the Meijer LPGA Classic because she has stayed with the Fink family for several years now. Since she arrived in Grand Rapids, they’ve celebrated the June birthdays in the Fink home along with Min, who recently turned 26.
Castren isn’t in the Meijer field but recently secured tickets from the USGA to watch the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. She’ll be back in action next week at the KPMG Women’s PGA.
Lee spent all of 2020 back home in Taiwan during the COVID-19 pandemic, competing on the Taiwan LPGA, and credits time spent practicing alongside male professionals for the improvement in her short game.
“That was a lot of fun practicing with the guys,” she said, “because their point of view, it’s so much different than the women’s.”
Lee came to the U.S. in 2013 to train at Annika Sorenstam’s Academy near Orlando and work with the Swede’s longtime instructor Henri Reis.
She’s been bouncing back and forth between the Symetra Tour and LPGA, though that will end after a T-31 at the Pure Silk Championship and a runner-up finish at Mediheal.
“My only goal is just to settle down on the LPGA,” she said, “and then try to stay on here as long as I can.”
Lee grew up playing the piano but really focused on the guitar during the pandemic. She keeps herself calm during rounds by playing classical music in her head.
“I want to have a band,” she said, “but a one-person band maybe. My goal is to create my songs.”
Lee had the week off before the Mediheal – she wasn’t in the U.S. Women’s Open – and she spent the time learning to cook with a friend who lives in the Bay Area.
“We were making Taiwanese dessert,” she said, “and I made some duck, and it turned out really good. I loved it.”
The fun-loving Lee is expressive on the golf course and converses easily with media. She seems quite comfortable in whatever situation she finds herself in these days.
There was added inspiration, of course, in compatriot Wei-Ling Hsu’s break-through victory at Kingsmill.
“That really makes me want to fight harder,” she said. “I mean, because it’s been how many years, like 10 years since last time Yani won the tournament?
“We grew up together, we’re about the same age, and we train together when we grow up. We have been classmates all the time, and I’m really thinking about, if she can make it, I can do it, too.”
Brooke Henderson will compete this week on the LPGA without sister Brittany on the bag for first time in five years
Matilda Castren becomes first player from Finland to win on LPGA, and does it in her 15th start
Lauren Kim feeling at home as she contends at LPGA Mediheal Championship