Minjee Lee went to bed on Saturday with a four-stroke lead at the Cognizant Founders Cup. So, of course, she wanted to win on Sunday.
But she didn’t and that’s okay.
“Yes, obviously I would’ve liked to have won, but looking back at my whole year and assessing where I am, like how I did this week, I think (there’s) a lot more positives than negatives,” Lee said after losing I in a playoff to Jin Young Ko. “Obviously, I’m a little bit disappointed, but I think I can take more of the happy moments into the next stretch of events and the rest of the year. I’m not totally unhappy but obviously I would’ve liked a better result.”
Lee was cool as a cucumber as she made her way through Upper Montclair Country Club on Sunday. Nothing seemed to faze the major champion.
The Australian started the day with a string of five pars before a shot into the water on No. 6 led to a double bogey that cost her the lead. Lee later explained that she just hit her tee shot fat, a simple miss-hit. Unshaken, she went and birdied the next hole to recapture a share of the lead.
She found three more birdies and a bogey to force her way into a play off with Ko, both tied at 13-under. Ko was able to win on the first playoff hole when Lee three-putted for bogey. But still, Lee remained unflappable.
“I still think I played really solid today and throughout the whole week really,” Lee said.
Lee has had a slow start to the 2023 season. Though the Cognizant Founder’s Cup was Lee’s fifth start on Tour, it will be the first time she’s cracked the top 40 this season. Coming into this week, Lee’s best result was a T41 finish at the Chevron Championship.
This week was a good one for Lee, despite a bit of disappointment at the end. She won’t dwell on this loss for long and is already thinking about what’s up next.
“It’s still pretty early in my season and I have a lot more events coming up,” Lee said. “I feel like I could take a lot of positives into the next couple majors coming up and Mizuho is my next event. I’m going to train hard the next two weeks and be ready for Mizuho.”
It’s not what Lee wanted to be sure, but she won’t begrudge adding a runner up to her 2023 resume. Hopefully, it’s a signal that the momentum is shifting for Lee and there will be many more forays into the top 10 in her future.