U.S. Women's Open

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Southern Pines, North Carolina, USA

Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club

Minjee Lee

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: It is my pleasure to introduce the champion of the 77th U.S. Women's Open presented by ProMedica, Minjee Lee.

Minjee, try to put this moment into words.

MINJEE LEE: I mean, this is pretty special. This is the one I've always wanted to win since I was a little kid, so it just feels pretty amazing to be able to get it done today. I just can't believe it.

Q. Talk a little bit about the round today; it looked like you were in control for most of it, but how much were you paying attention and what were you feeling?

MINJEE LEE: I was pretty nervous all day, to be fair. I started good; I had two birdies off the bat. It was nice just to have that little buffer. I made two bogeys on the front nine, as well.

I didn't hit it that well. I had really good saves, up-and-downs from a lot of the places, and then finishing I had a couple birdies and a couple bogeys. I think that was enough to get it done today.

Q. Did you have any messages from Karrie or your brother on that phone?

MINJEE LEE: Oh, I mean, yeah, it's blowing up. There's so many.

Q. Was there one from Karrie?

MINJEE LEE: Yeah, she texted me yesterday and the day before and probably today, as well.

Q. What were your emotions coming up 18? Not very many people get to enjoy that kind of walk with that kind of lead.

MINJEE LEE: I just said to myself, this is pretty amazing. This is pretty cool, just looking at the whole crowd and just everybody down the fairways. It was a pretty special moment for me.

Q. With the win you joined Karrie Webb and Jan Stephenson as the only two Australian women to own more than one major championship. Have you reflected on your place in your country's golf history?

MINJEE LEE: I mean, I haven't been able to even think properly at the moment. But it's such a great honor just to be amongst those two names. Yeah, it's just really, really special.

Q. You were quite poised out there until you were asked about what the prize money meant to you. What do you think you might do with it, and tell us honestly, was it something you thought about at all this week?

MINJEE LEE: To be honest, just maybe right at the beginning, because I like to keep on top of everything, what's happening with our Tour and ladies golf.

Yeah, I did, but not when I was playing. Not at all.

Q. What might you do with it?

MINJEE LEE: A lot of things. I'm not sure yet, but we'll see.

Q. You sat here last night and said that tomorrow I want to go make as many birdies as I can. That struck me as a really good, aggressive attitude to have as somebody with a big lead. Was that crucial for you?

MINJEE LEE: You know, even with a three-shot lead I never felt comfortable today. I felt like I still needed to play well. I still needed to hold my ground. That's pretty much what I did.

To start aggressively, I think it was the right move, and then after that I had quite a big shot lead, so I was able to just play my game just to finish.

Q. On the 18th, do you know how Scottie Scheffler felt at the Masters now?

MINJEE LEE: I was nervous all day, so that was the nervous-est I've been. Yeah.

Q. After the round what did you do to reset or recoup to set up for today?

MINJEE LEE: I really didn't do anything in particular. I just went back to my room, had some dinner, and then just watched the men's golf because it was on Golf Channel. Then I went to bed.

Q. Did you lose sleep or how was your sleep?

MINJEE LEE: I mean, I woke up really early today, but yeah, it's one of those days where you can't really sleep in. Yeah, for me it was like that.

Q. Were there any messages that you got from Karrie or your brother that you took to heart as you stepped up to the first tee today?

MINJEE LEE: No, they were just all pretty casual. They were just like, oh, have a great day, and just keep up the good work. It was nice. Just good support.

Q. You're here by yourself this week, right? Have you already talked to your mom and dad at this point?

MINJEE LEE: No, I haven't even really checked my phone. I just spoke to my brother, and that was it.

Q. You spoke to your brother on the phone? What did he say?

MINJEE LEE: Yeah, Mike had him on speaker.

Q. What did he say?

MINJEE LEE: He just said, well done, and see you tomorrow.

Q. When you two were growing up, did you pretend to putt to win the U.S. Open? Did you two do that?

MINJEE LEE: I'm not sure about him. I'm sure he has done it. But I for sure have done it. This is to win the U.S. Open, like for a little five-footer. I've done that plenty of times when I was growing up.

Q. You said in particular the U.S. Open is what you've dreamed of. What are your earliest memories of the U.S. Open, and why was it this tournament that was so special?

MINJEE LEE: I'm not sure. It was just maybe the trophy when I was little. I was like, oh, it's such a cool trophy. But then when I was growing up playing, like the highlights of Webby winning and Lorena and a lot of people I looked up to, Annika winning. So I think that's maybe what kind of sparked my love.

Q. With obviously Ash Barty winning the Australian Open and then of course retiring and then you winning this, what do you think all this means for women's sports in Australia?

MINJEE LEE: Well, I won't be retiring, but for women's golf in Oz or --

Q. Just for women's sports in Australia.

MINJEE LEE: I think this will be huge for all the little girls and even the boys and the children watching. I know there's been a really big boom in WA. The girls have been a lot more interested in playing, so hopefully they watch me on TV and I can be a good role model to them and they'll start getting more involved.

Q. The winners here have been Annika, Karrie Webb, Cristie Kerr, and now yourself. What does that mean to join that elite company, and what about Pine Needles produces that level of champion?

MINJEE LEE: How cool. Just to be amongst those names, pretty special.

Just for the course, I think it's a very ball striker's golf course. Obviously the greens are quite tricky so you need to be able to control your spin and hit it -- I guess on the right parts of the green. Maybe ball-striking and putting.

THE MODERATOR: Minjee, congratulations again.

MINJEE LEE: Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
121343-1-1041 2022-06-05 23:20:00 GMT

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