NAPLES (Florida) – Minjee Lee received her second seven-figure check after she won the 2022 Aon Risk Reward Challenge as well as the $1 million prize.
Seven-figure checks in women’s golf are rare. Seven checks will be presented this year, although the Aon prize money is not official money.
Lee, 26, was awarded the U.S. Women’s Open in Pine Needles earlier this season for her second major title, and a record-setting $1.8m paycheck. Lee is currently the top money earner with $3,759 835.
Lee, who has already won the Rolex Annika Major Award for Women’s Golf, could enjoy the richest season of women’s golf if she wins this week’s $2,000,000 prize at the CME Group Tour Championship. She could actually finish second ($687,000), but still beat Lorena Olchoa’s record of $4.354,994 in 2007. Ochoa won seven times in that season, including one major.
Lee said that she hadn’t had time to shop yet and was unsure if she would indulge. “Maybe this week.”
Lee started the year strong but has not had a top 10 ranking since August. Current No. Lee is currently ranked 5th in the world. Lydia Ko is one point behind Lee in the LPGA Player of Year race. This award carries an additional Hall of Fame point.
Lee was able to play both Asian events, but she missed last week’s Pelican Championship LPGA. Lee stated that she is learning how to recharge after such a strong start in 2022.
She said that she hasn’t been at the top of her game in the last few weeks. “I was hitting it so well throughout, what, eight, nine months of the year. Although I probably didn’t hit it or put it as well in the last few weeks, this is the final event of the LPGA season. I want to be successful.”
Aon Risk Reward Challenge is a $1 million prize for winners of the LPGA or PGA Tours. Scottie Schffler won the men’s race earlier in the season.
Lee is one of the most skilled ball-strikers in the LPGA. She has increased her length in recent years and went for the green on challenge holes 58 percent of time, compared to 32 percent on tour. The race determines the best two scores at the designated challenge holes for each participant in every event. To qualify, players must complete at least 40 rounds during the season.
Lee said, “It’s quite a life-changing amount of money that Aon puts out,” and it’s really good for the women’s touring and the LPGA. It’s an amazing opportunity for both of us to be on the same plane on both tours.
After Hannah Green, Lee is now the second consecutive Australian to win the title. The first Aon race was won by Carlota Ciganda from Spain.
Jennifer Bell, Aon North America’s chief executive officer, stated that she hopes other companies will follow their lead and support the LPGA as well as the men’s tour.
“To ensure that we get gender equity and make sure that the LPGA Tour and players receive the highest pay possible, I ask my firm, ‘What are you doing? Bell agreed.
It’s fascinating because it puts pressure on people, so it has more influence than anything. It’s hopefully making a difference.