Australian teenager Minjee Lee has tuned up for this week’s major championship by storming to a share of fourth place in the LPGA Tour’s Manulife Classic in Canada.
The winner of last month’s Kingsmill Championship, 19-year-old Lee continued her impressive professional rookie season as she shot a flawless five-under-par 67 in windy conditions to reach 16-under at Whistle Bear Golf Club in Cambridge, Ontario.
She was six shots behind Norway’s Suzann Pettersen who birdied two of the last three holes to claim her 15th LPGA Tour victory.
Lee collected $US59,030, taking her season prizemoney to $US377,500, making her easily the leading Australian ahead of this week’s $US3,500,00 Women’s PGA Championship in Harrison, New York.
The 34-year-old Pettersen closed with a three-under 69 for a 22-under 266 total and a one-stroke victory from Brittany Lang, who shot a brilliant 65 to come up just short.
Pettersen blasted out of a greenside bunker to two feet on the par-five 16th to set up a birdie that tied Lang for the lead, then hit a 5-iron to eight feet for another birdie on the 191-yard, par-three 17th.
The 34-year-old Norwegian parred the par-four 18th, hitting her long first putt to a foot.
“I hope I didn’t peak one week early,” Pettersen said. “But this is just a start. This is what I’ve been working for. I’m starting to feel that the process is kind of coming together. This is a start of a big summer.”
Colombia’s Mariajo Uribe was third at 18-under after a 72.
Lee tied fourth with Jacqui Concolino (69), So Yeon Ryu (69) and Cristie Kerr (73).
World No.1 Lydia Ko tied for 27th at 10-under after a 71.