Updated: January, 2017


The Facts

Birthday: December 2, 1985
Rookie Year on LPGA: 2006
Birthplace: Seoul, South Korea
American Home City: None
Best LPGA Finish: Win (2005 CJ 9 Bridges Classic)
Best LPGA Major Finish: T-2nd (2007 Ricoh British Women's Open)
Best Score: 63 (2007 Michelob Ultra)

Best Scoring Average for a year: 71.26 (2010)
Best Season money total: $966,256 (2007)
Best Season Money Position: 10th (2007)
Most Top Tens/Season: 10 (2007)

Rookie of The Year Finish: 5th

Height: 5' 6"
2017 LPGA Status: Category 18; retired
Nicknames: Jelly
Sponsors: Unknown
How's her English?: Getting better
Hobbies: Cooking, video games
Road to the LPGA: Gained two year exemption by winning 2005 CJ 9 Bridges Classic

Capsule Bio

At the start of 2005, Jee Young Lee was just another rookie on the KLPGA tour. But by June of that year, she had already won the Korean Women's Open, one of the most important events of the KLPGA season. After that, however, she faded into the woodwork with a string of lackluster performances. She did not seem to be much of a factor on tour.

But all that changed during the CJ 9 Bridges Classic, the event co-sanctioned each year by the LPGA and the KLPGA. Thanks to her win on the KLPGA tour, she was high enough on their money list to play this event. By the end of the first round, she was the surprise leader, ahead of such stalwarts as Annika Sorenstam, Paula Creamer and defending champion Grace Park. By the middle of the second round, she had an unbelievable 8 shot lead. She eventually won the event despite a hard charge from Jeong Jang and Mi Hyun Kim. By doing so, she qualified to play for the next couple of years on the LPGA tour: 2006 as a non-exempt player, 2007 as an exempt one.

Much like Shi Hyun Ahn had done in 2003, Jee Young became an overnight star in her native country; the media quickly dubbed her the latest Korean Cinderella. She worked hard during the off season to make sure she would be a factor in her rookie year of 2006.


2007 Photos
2006 Photos
2005 Photos
Seoul Sisters Exclusives
Seoul Sisters Pix

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 still elusive.

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 yet.

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 11 status.

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 the future!

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