Minjee Lee made history on Monday morning when she took home a record $2.5million for winning the women’s US Open golf title, but the talented player from Perth isn’t the only professional golfer in her family – brother Min Woo is also making waves in the sport.
The Korean-Australian pair hail from Perth, after their parents Soonam and Clara Lee moved to WA from South Korea over two decades ago.
After Lee’s incredible win at the Pine Needles course, the brother and sister are finally started to get the recognition they deserve – and could create a dynasty at the top of the sport in Australia
Min Woo, 23, has already won the Scottish Open, and made his Masters debut at Augusta in April, while Minjee, 26, is now just the sixth Australian to win two majors after winning the Evian Championship last year.
Minjee is now ranked third in the world – a phenomenal achievement in its own right – while Min Woo is continuing to rise up the rankings to sit at 61, which makes him the fifth-highest Australian in the world rankings.
Minjee Lee caddying for brother Min Woo Lee at the Masters in April
Minjee Lee won the US Open on Monday morning, becoming only the second Australian woman to achieve the feat
Most people, even golf fans, wouldn’t have noticed any media about Minjee when she won her first major last year.
Unlike Ash Barty, who had high-profile deals with iconic Aussie companies like Vegemite and Banana to go with big dollars from Fila and Jaguar, Lee hasn’t rated much of a mention in local corporate circles.
Her main sponsors come from the big bucks in Asia – but that is expected to change very soon on the back of the consummate professional’s huge win.
Brother Min hasn’t rated much of a mention either, with stars like Cameron Smith, Adam Scott and Marc Leishman commanding the majority of headlines in Australia.
Min Woo Lee preparing to putt at the Charles Schwab Challenge in May
The pair, who are clearly very close, often post about each other on Instagram and Twitter.
Minjee was even able to be the caddy for her brother when he made his Masters debut, in what was an incredibly special experience for the pair.
The Lee siblings at Augusta when Minjee (right) caddied for her brother Min Woo (left) as he made his Masters debut
The emotion was palpable yesterday as Woo posted about his sister’s achievement on Twitter, before Lee interrupted her trophy presentation to take a call from him.
In diary entries they wrote published on the Australian PGA site, the siblings spoke of their admiration for each other.
‘Her work ethics are tough and she works so hard. She goes through all the drills and that’s one thing I’m trying to improve. When I feel tired, I would stop,’ wrote Min Woo.
‘Her perseverance is amazing as she sticks with something that she needs to do and finishes it off. I really love that about my sister which is her normal character and her golf character.’
Minjee Lee drives one down the fairway during the final round of the US Open
Min Woo reacts after making an eagle at the Masters in Augusta in April
Minjee was similarly proud of her brother, who she said had to previously deal with being in her shadow – but is now shining in his own right.
‘Min Woo has a brighter personality. He loves the crowds, and he rides on the momentum through the crowds as he’s a fiery spirit,’ she wrote.
‘I think that’s probably the one thing I would want from his golf as he’s really aggressive on the golf course. If I had a bit more of that, I think it would help make me become a better player. He’s very friendly with everyone while I’m the introvert.’
Minjee (right) said her brother Min Woo (left) had to previously deal with being in her shadow – but is now shining in his own right
This success is no flash in the pan.
The siblings have been working towards greatness since they could walk, and they’ve been able to push each other to greater heights.
‘Growing up with Minjee, it was kind of a normal brother-sister relationship. There was a bit of rivalry when we were younger as we are both competitors,’ wrote Min Woo in the diary.
It’s been fun to drive each other on … we try to be the best that we can be in the world and we want each other to succeed. I think it’s a good bragging right to have over your brother or sister.’
Lee was full of emotion when accepting the US Open trophy on Monday morning
Mother Clara was a teaching professional at a driving range while Soonam plays off a single-figure handicap.
Minjee, according to the Courier Mail, even moved schools when she was in Year 11 just to be closer to her home course, Fremantle.
The passion these two siblings have for the game is inspiring.
Given Minjee has already won the same amount of majors as Greg Norman, and Min Woo has already played in the Masters at the tender age of 23, the chance of the young Aussies carrying Australian golf for the next decade are high.