Home » Lee pips Smith in history-making win

Lee pips Smith in history-making win

Two LPGA tour wins for Minjee Lee have outpointed Cam Smith’s two victories on the LIV tour and two-top 10 major finishes this year in voting for the Greg Norman Medal.

Lee, who finished the year as Australia’s highest-ranked golfer at No.5 in the world following a successful surge towards the end of her season, won the highest award in the Australian game in Brisbane on Tuesday night.

The 27-year-old two-time major champion became the first three-time winner of the medal.

Lee only played 20 times in 2023 and after an unusually slow start results-wise, she dropped out of the world top 10 for the first time in more than two years.

However, the tide began to turn midway through the year and she returned to the winner’s list in September at the Kroger Queen City Championship.

Lee backed that up four weeks later with another win at the BMW Ladies Championship.

In 20 events this year, Lee won twice, finished in the top 10 another five times and the top 20 another seven times. She finished outside the top 20 just four times.

Lee also took her earnings past $20 million to be behind only seven-time major champion Karrie Webb for highest-earning Australians.

Lee’s third Greg Norman Medal came despite another brilliant year from Smith.

He won twice on the LIV tour, in London and New Jersey, and pocketed more than $21 million.

Smith, who said he had had a “pretty decent year” when asked on Tuesday about his hopes to win the Greg Norman Medal, also finished fourth at the US Open and in a tie for ninth at the US PGA Championship.

The Queenslander also tied for 33rd in his British Open title defence.

“I think I’ve played some pretty decent golf this year, a couple of wins, a couple of really solid finishes in the majors,” he said when asked of his medal hopes.

“But I guess we’ll wait and see how that plays out.”

Lee’s younger brother Min Woo, who broke through for a win at the Macau Open and secured his US PGA Tour paying card for next year in a blistering season, said he was just glad “one of the Lees” had won the medal.