Mirim had an even better 2012 than 2011. The
highlight was when she won the Korean Women's Open in August,
outlasting both Ha Neul Kim and Hye Youn Kim in the final
round to claim her first Major trophy. She also had a runner-up
finish in May and five other top tens. She finished 7th on
the 2012 money list with nearly 287 million won earned.
She also found time to play in the Evian Masters,
where she had her best ever LPGA finish to date, a tie for
In 2013, Mi Rim (as she now called herself)
focused on earning a tour card for the LPGA, but still played
a bunch of events on the KLPGA tour. Her best week came at
the KG EDaily Ladies Open in April. She faced down two of
the tour's top players, Ha Na Jang and Hyo Joo Kim, and won
after chipping in a birdie on the 17th hole in the final round
to beat those two by a shot. Another highlight was finishing
4th in defense of her Korean Women's Open title.
In the second half of the year she mainly
focused on Q-School. It paid: in the finals, she finished
well behind runaway winner Jaye Marie Green, who shot an insane
29 under par five round total. But Lee was second at 19 under,
shooting an all time record 61 in round 3 in the process.
She earned her full status LPGA tour card for 2014 as a result!
Mirim Lee had a fantastic LPGA rookie season
in 2014, making nearly a million dollars and carding four
top ten finishes. She got off to a great start by nearly winning
the Founders Cup, one of her first events of the year. She
cooled down a bit after that, but notched a few top twenties.
Then, at the Meier Classic, she faced down world #2 golfer
Inbee Park, beating her in a two hole playoff for her first
career LPGA win. The next week she had a 6th place finish
at the LPGA Championship.
During the six-event Asian swing in the Fall,
Lee again caught fire. She played brilliantly at the Reignwood
Classic, this time faced with the #1 golfer in the world,
Stacy Lewis. Lee nearly hit her tee shot into the water on
the par 3 17th hole on Sunday. It sat precariously on the
rocks, but somehow Lee chipped the ball from there onto the
green, then made a 30 foot par save. She went on to win the
Lee finished 2nd in the Rookie of the Year
standings. For her final bow, she played on the Korean team
at the Korea-Japan Team Championship, winning both her matches
(one paired with Chella Choi).
Mirim's second season on the LPGA was comparable
to her first. Although she didn't win, she did notch one more
top ten than in 2014. She finished with about $680 thousand,
good for 19th on the money list.
Her best finish was a second at the Kia Classic.
She led much of the week and looked likely to continue the
unbeaten streak the Koreans had amassed to that point in 2015.
But on Sunday, she missed too many putts and made too many
mistakes, and Cristie Kerr won it in the end.
Mirim Lee also played in the year ending LPGA
vs. KLPGA team matches. She won a team up with Mi Hyang Lee,
but lost in her singles match against Min Sun Kim.
Mirim had a fantastic season in 2016. She
ended up making almost the identical amount of money as she
made in 2014, just a couple of hundred dollars less. She had
one more top ten and finished 17th on the money list. But
it was at the Majors where she made her mark. She missed the
cut at the Evian and ANA, but at the other three Majors, she
was a factor.
At the KPMG, she had a share of the 36 hole
lead, but struggled on Saturday and wound up tied for 4th
after a Sunday rally. At the US Women's Open, however, she
made history, shooting an 8 under par 64 in the first round.
Her ten birdies was the most anyone had ever shot in a single
round at the Open before. Alas, she was not so strong the
rest of the time and finished tied for 11th.
Finally it all seemed to come together for
Mirim at the British Women's Open in late July. She shot a
blistering first round 62 to take the lead. She didn't come
close to that the rest of the week, but still found herself
in the hunt on Sunday. Alas, Thai star Ariya Jutanugarn hung
on for the win, but Lee finished tied for 2nd, her best ever
Her other strong results include a tie for
2nd at the Marathon Classic and a solo third at the Reignwood
Classic behind In Kyung Kim and MJ Hur. In November, Mirim
played for the LPGA team at the ING Champions team event.
She won one of two team matches, pairing with Q Baek to take
down KLPGA stars Cecilia Cho and Seon Woo Bae 4 & 2. She
also won her singles match against Su Yeon Jang one up. The
LPGA won the event 13-11.