Minjee Lee ‘gives back’ to Golf Australia program
They say what goes around, comes around and Golf Australia is hoping that their early financial backing of future stars pays off down the track when these same players are able to return the favour.
And with Minjee Lee now a five-time LPGA Tour winner with prize money of US$7 million, it was her turn to ‘give back’.
Minjee Lee won the LA Open in 2019 (Credit: LPGA)
The Western Australia becomes the first player to formally put their hand in their pocket and help fund the next generation of Aussie stars through Golf Australia’s unique Give Back program introduced in 2015.
Lee, who was a recipient of the Karrie Webb Scholarship in 2013 and 2014, was more than happy to pay out a percentage of her 2020 winnings, especially when she has seen the direct results of her hero, Karrie Webb, giving back to local golf.
“I think it’s a really special thing to do,” said the world No.11. “All the things I got out of Golf Australia’s high performance pathway really helped me to this point in my career, so I’m really happy to be able to give back to the kids who are in the program right now.”
“I’ve watched Webby giving back for so long, so I feel like I’m following in her footsteps to give back to the kids and leave the next generation of golfers in Australia in a better place.”
“That was my goal when I was growing up and about to turn professional, so it’s a great honour for me.”
The rules around the ‘Give Back’ program stipulate that once athletes reach a world ranking of 125 for men and 50 for women – a small percentage of their prizemoney is to be donated back to Golf Australia for use in high performance programs around Australia.
“In giving back to her sport, Minjee is recognising where she has come from and is paving the way for the next generation of talented golfers to follow her and benefit from our high performance program,” said Golf Australia COE James Sutherland.
“This is a great credit to Minjee – and whilst she may be the first, we know she won’t be the last world class Australian golfer to give back.”