OOLTEWAH, Tenn. – Australia's Min Woo Lee waited out a 47-minute weather delay to hole the winning 3 1/2-foot birdie putt Saturday in the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship.
The 17-year-old Lee beat 16-year-old Noah Goodwin of Corinth, Texas, 2 and 1 in the 36-hole final at The Honors Course. Lee became the first Australian winner and combined with older sister Minjee to become the first brother-sister tandem to win USGA junior championships. Minjee Lee won the 2012 U.S. Girls' Junior.
I'm down in history on the USGA Junior trophy, so it feels really good," Lee said. "It's probably the best I've ever felt. It's a dream come true for me. I've always wanted to win this tournament. I was in good form coming into it. I knew I had a good chance. It feels great to win and be on the trophy with names such as Tiger (Woods)."
Minjee Lee is a two-time LPGA Tour winner.
"I think we made history, so that's pretty cool," Minjee Lee said from the LPGA Tour's UL International Crown in Illinois. "I just told him at the beginning of the day to just have fun. I'm glad that he came out winning, and it's great for both of us."
On the par-5 35th hole, Goodwin found the green with his second, while Lee's approach came up just short in a grass bunker. Goodwin's long downhill eagle try rolled 9 feet by the hole. Lee followed with a flop shot that stopped 3 1/2 feet from the hole. Goodwin pulled his par putt and, as Lee was lining up the potential winning putt, the USGA blew the horn because of inclement weather.
After the delay, Lee converted the birdie putt.
"I had a few minutes to come together and just think about that putt, and think about the other putts that I've had similar to that one," Lee said. "I missed a few low, so I thought I would hit it a bit higher. It went right in the middle."
Lee took the lead with a birdie in the par-3 34th hole.
"I couldn't have lost to a better player," Goodwin said. "He pushed me and challenged me every single shot today. I played my butt off today. I played great. I got beat by a better player. In the end, that's what it's all about. This tournament is just about finding the best player this week."
Lee, 131st in the world amateur ranking, became the fourth international, following South Korea's Terry Noe (1994), Sihwan Kim (2004) and Andy Hyeon Bo Shim (2012).
"It's the best course I've ever played," Lee said about the Pete Dye-designed Honors. "It's a great match-play course. It's challenging in every way."
Goodwin is ranked 35th.
"I learned I can play with the best (junior) players in the world," Goodwin said. "I kind of already knew that, but it's always nice to just have more experience doing it and everything. My wedges were great this week, and that was one of the things that kept me going the entire time. I just need to polish up my irons a little bit more, though, and I can do that over a period of time."