MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australia’s Minjee Lee has challenged her little brother Min Woo to emulate her winning form on the LPGA Tour by claiming the PGA Championship this week.
World number four Minjee made her major breakthrough at the Evian Championship last July, two weeks after her brother won the Scottish Open in a golden fortnight for the family.
Now 25-year-old Minjee, who won the Founders Cup in New Jersey on Sunday, hopes Min Woo can follow her lead by winning his first major in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
“We sort of have like, maybe not for him, a silent rivalry,” she told reporters on Tuesday.
“Obviously I love seeing him do well and I’m going to support him either way.
“It’s a little bit of fun for both of us and I’m two-upping him at the moment so he better get a move on.”
Minjee’s record of seven LPGA wins puts her 23-year-old brother’s two European Tour titles in the shade — but both golfers are talents to watch.
Minjee saw Min Woo’s potential up close at his debut Masters last month where he finished tied for 14th and made a huge splash during the final round by equalling the lowest front nine score at Augusta with a six-under par 30.
Minjee caddied for her brother during the Wednesday Par Three contest before the major and was blown away by the crowds and atmosphere.
With a week off to cheer on her brother, Minjee will soon turn her attention to winning her second major at the U.S. Women’s Open at Southern Pines, North Carolina starting June 2.
Her two-stroke win over fast-charging American Lexi Thompson at the Founders Cup was her first this year and belated reward after topping the LPGA for lowest scoring average (68.89) and rounds in the sixties.
Ranked 28th for putting, improvement on the greens could go a long way to realising her goal of becoming world number one.
“Obviously it is in the back of my mind,” said Minjee of the top ranking held by South Korea’s Ko Jin-young.
“I still think I need to do quite a bit of work to get there. The three majors left this season, those will be my bigger focus.”
(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Peter Rutherford)