All in all, she had a very successful introduction
to the American tour in 2006. Although she didn't have the
enormous instant success of Seon Hwa Lee, she played well,
notching top twenties in two Majors and settling herself high
on the money list. After a 10th place at the US Women's Open,
she kicked it into another gear. She had a fifth place finish
at the Canadian Open, then took the first round lead at the
Safeway in August following a blistering 8 under par 64 that
included seven consecutive birdies. At the next tournament,
the Wendy's, she battled it out with Lorena Ochoa most of
the weekend for the title before fading at the end. A little
later, she returned to Korea and won a KLPGA event, the Shinsegae,
and she played well at her first Kyoraku Cup (the Korean-Japan
team event). Jee Young wound up 20th on the money list, a
great start to what looks like a very promising career.
2007 proved to be a great season for Jee Young,
despite the fact that she struggled with injuries much of
the year. In just the second tournament of the LPGA year,
the Fields Open, she battled for the crown all week, eventually
finishing second. She did well in all four Majors, carding
a 13th at the Nabisco, a 10th at the LPGA Championship, a
7th at the US Women's Open, and a tie for second, her best
ever Major finish, at the Ricoh British Women's Open.
Her best chance to win an event in 2007, however,
came at the Michelob Ultra Open in May. After shooting a career
best 63 in the third round, she was in great position to win
it all. In the end, she wound up in a playoff with Suzann
Pettersen, looking for her first LPGA win. The playoff went
for three holes, but on the third one, Jee Young sloppily
missed a one foot par putt, handing the tournament to Pettersen,
who would go on to win five times in 2007.
Jee Young had another good shot at a win at
the HSBC World Match Play in July. In her quarterfinal match
with Mi Hyun Kim, she was one down when they reached the par
5 18th, a hole Jee Young could easily reach with her length.
But she hit a terrible tee shot into the woods and would end
up losing the match.
After that, she struggled with injuries much
of the rest of the year. Still, she wound up with 10 top tens,
and finished for the first time in the top ten on the money
list. After that, she played in both the Kyoraku Cup and the
Lexus Cup, and was undefeated in five matches.
2008 was an off season for Jelly, at least
by her high standards. She had top 21 finishes in all four
Majors, but no top tens. That was symptomatic of her entire
year. She made umpteen top twenties, but didn't have as many
top tens as usual. She added yet another second place finish
at the Safeway International, but that second tour win was
She started the year slowly, but finished
with a bang, collecting top tens in her final five events.
As a result, she wound up with her best season scoring average
Jee Young's 2009 campaign started well; she
made top 20s in 5 of her first 6 starts. And it ended strong,
with three more top 15s. But she had some uncharacteristic
struggles in between, including three very poor outings in
the Majors. Consequently, she finished 37th on the money list,
a very bad showing for her.
Jee Young quietly had a return to form in
2010. She finished 19th on the tour money list thanks to 8
top tens, and set her all time best scoring average of 71.26.
She finished the year with a bang, making 6 straight top 20s,
three of which were top tens. Her best finish of the year
was a tie for 2nd at the Canadian Women's Open.
2011 was a disastrous year for Lee. Her best
finish was 33rd, and she missed more cuts than she made. She
finished only 116th on the money list, her worst performance
since joining the tour. As a result, she fell to category
12 status, the first time she did not have full status on
tour since she joined.
She didn't do all that much better in 2012,
but at least she made the top 90 on the money list (90th,
to be precise), which allowed her to inch back to category
2013 was a mini-comeback season for Jee Young.
She still was nowhere near where she was in her glory days,
but she did manage to finish 65th on the money list to earn
back top status on tour for 2014. The undoubted highlight
of her year was a tie for fourth at the Founders Cup, the
first time she had really been a factor at a tournament in
some time. She also put herself into the top five of the North
Texas Shootout entering the final round, but had a horrible
finish to the week, shooting a ten on her final hole to plunge
all the way to 43rd.
In 2014, Jee Young only made about $75,000,
good for just 101st on the money list. Her best finish was
a tie for 16th at the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
Jee Young made just $75,000 in 2015. Although
she finished well enough on the money list to earn partial
status on tour for 2016, she was now married and decided that
she had had enough of the golf life. Hence, she made the Yokohama
Tire event in Alabama her final event and retired immediately
after that ended.
Best wishes to Jee Young and her family in