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Minjee Lee back where she belongs - in golf's top 10


Minjee Lee celebrates her victory at the Kroger Queen City Championship. Picture: Joshua A. Bickel.

Minjee Lee's drought-busting LPGA triumph in Cincinnati has thrust her back where she belongs - among the top-10 elite of women's golf.


Australia's two-time major winner Lee was back at No.7 in the world rankings when they were announced on Monday, thanks to her thrilling playoff triumph in the Kroger Queen City Championship.


But the Perth star won't be satisfied until she's back in the real hunt to gain that ultimate aim of the world No.1 spot that now belongs for the first time to the 20-year-old Chinese comet, Ruoning Yin.


Yin is the 18th different player to reach the top spot and the fifth this year - a record - but Lee, after a rare if brief spell outside the top 10, has still to reach those lofty heights with her best still being the No.2 ranking she last held in August last year.


But the victory in Cincinnati, her first LPGA triumph for 15 months since the 2022 US Women's Open, has given her a new lease of life as she targets a spectacular end to what had until Sunday been a disappointing season by her usual impeccable standards.


Indeed, the 27-year-old had dropped to her lowest ranking - No.13 - for two years until her playoff triumph over English luminary Charley Hull at the second extra hole. 


"My goal for the rest of the season was to finish well. CME (the tour championship finale) is coming up and all the Asia events, so I really wanted to reset my goals," said Lee.


"Just really wanted to finish off on a high and I got to win, so that's really nice. Resetting your goals is always hard after an amazing year like the one I had in 2022. Maybe I can reset here and have a great Asia and CME."

And Lee's got a new No.1 to chase in Women's PGA champ Yin, who's the second Chinese player to reach the top since the rankings began in 2006, joining Shanshan Feng between 2017 and 2018.


She's also the third player aged 20 or younger to hit the landmark, joining Thailand's Atthaya Thitikul (2022) and New Zealand's Lydia Ko (2015).


No Australian has yet made the top spot in the 17 years of the rankings, but it would be no surprise for Lee to make the step.


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