Reigning U.S. Women’s Open champion Jeongeun Lee6, 23, of the Republic of Korea, has won the LPGA Tour’s 2019 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Award. Lee6, who posted a two-stroke victory at the Country Club of Charleston (S.C.) on June 2, clinched the Rookie of the Year honor following her tie for eighth at last week’s Volunteers of America Classic. Lee6 has earned 1,273 points and holds an insurmountable 756-point lead over second-place Kristen Gillman with five events left in the 2019 season. Gillman, a member of the victorious 2018 USA Curtis Cup Team, captured a pair of U.S. Women’s Amateur titles in 2014 and 2018 before turning professional at end of 2018.
“For five consecutive years, Korean golfers have won this Rookie of the Year award. I’m part of that list, and I am so proud and honored,” said Lee6. “This is all thanks to those players who came before me, who have all given me so much advice. Since the season is almost over, I want to finish strong for the rest of our tournaments and perform well.”
Lee6 is the 13th player from the Republic of Korea to capture the honor and the fifth consecutive, following Jin Young Ko (2018), 2016 U.S. Women’s Open champion Sung Hyun Park (2017), 2015 U.S. Women’s Open champion In Gee Chun (2016) and Sei Young Kim (2015).
She will look to defend her U.S. Women's Open title at Champions Golf Club in Houston, Texas, June 4-7. To purchase tickets, click here.
Lee6 earned 2019 LPGA Tour Membership after taking medalist honors at the inaugural Q-Series in 2018. In June, she became a Rolex First-Time Winner when she won the U.S. Women’s Open, becoming the 19th player in championship history to make the U.S. Women’s Open her first sanctioned LPGA Tour victory. She also has runner-up finishes at the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship, ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer and Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open, along with 10 other top-20 finishes. She currently sits fourth in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings.
With five events left in the season, Lee6 is second on the LPGA Official Money List with $1,913,357, behind only four-time winner and 2018 Rookie of the Year Jin Young Ko. She is also second in the Rolex Player of the Year standings behind Ko and was runner-up to Ko in the Rolex ANNIKA Major Award standings. Lee6 is in the top 10 in scoring average (No. 5, 69.6), birdies (No. 8, 305), eagles (No. 8, nine), greens in regulation (No. 10, 75%), rounds in the 60s (No. 6, 35) and rounds under par (No. 3, 58).
Prior to joining the LPGA Tour, Lee6 was a member of the Korean LPGA Tour from 2016-18. She won six KLPGA events, including major championships at the 2018 Hanwha Classic and 2018 KB Financial Star Championship, and led the KLPGA money list in 2017 and 2018.
Lee6’s unusual last name comes from the fact that she is the sixth player in KLPGA history named Jeongeun Lee. She has embraced the moniker, emblazoning it on her clothing and golf bag, and even naming her official Korean fan club “Lucky Six.”
Lee6 will receive the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year award at the 2019 Rolex LPGA Awards ceremony, to be held Thursday, Nov. 21, at Tiburon Golf Club during the week of the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship.
Since its inception in 1962, eight Louis Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year winners have won the U.S. Women’s Open and been inducted into the LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame: Joanne Carner (1970), Jan Stephenson (1974), Amy Alcott (1975), Patty Sheehan (1981), Juli Inkster (1984), Annika Sorenstam (1994), Karrie Webb (1996) and Se Ri Pak (1998).