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Minjee Lee wins LPGA's Kroger Queen City Championship


Australian golf star Minjee Lee has held her nerve to clinch her first LPGA Tour victory in 15 months with a thrilling playoff win at the Queen City Championship in Cincinnati.

Lee made a brilliant birdie at the second extra hole to deny England's Charley Hull and secure her first win since claiming a second career major at the 2022 US Women's Open.

Both players had finished with 16-under 272 totals after Lee posted a final-round 71 and Hull closed with a 69 to pull back a two-shot overnight deficit.

Lee had enjoyed a five-shot buffer with eight holes to play before the tournament took a dramatic twist on the par-5 12th at Kenwood Country Club.

Lee hit out of bounds en route to a double-bogey seven, the dual major winner's first blemish since the 14th hole on Friday - 30 holes earlier - opening the door for Hull, who drew level with consecutive birdies on 14, 15 and 16.

The pair played the 18th three times, with Lee finally prevailing after nailing a wedge from the left rough to within half a metre and draining the birdie putt.

"I had a few moments where I really felt like I was losing but I wasn't. The scores were pretty much tied," a relieved Lee said.

"I was just like, 'Let's just play until the end and see where it ends up'. So I didn't give up.

"I just played every shot to the best I could and won the playoff, so it feels nice."

The tense victory comes four months after the one-time world No.2 let a late two-stroke lead slip to lose a sudden-death playoff to Jin Young Ko in the defence of her Cognizant Founders Cup title in New Jersey.

All up, Lee had recorded 13 top-20s and eight top-five finishes since her US Open triumph before breaking the drought on Sunday to move back into the world's top 10 and collect the $US300,000 ($A470,000) winner's cheque.

With her ninth victory on the LPGA Tour, the 27-year-old surpasses Rachel Hetherington to become Australia's third-most prolific winner on the lucrative circuit behind fellow all-time greats Karrie Webb (41) and Jan Stephenson (16).

Lee is the third Australian to win on Tour this season, joining Grace Kim (LOTTE Championship presented by Hoakalei) and Hannah Green (JM Eagle LA Championship presented by Plastpro).

The Perth ace's victory came hours after her younger brother Min Woo Lee finished tied for seventh at the DP World Tour's Irish Open after charging to within one shot of the lead during the final round.

Ruoning Yin (67) finished outright third at 14 under, good enough for the 20-year-old to leapfrog American Lilia Vu and claim the world No.1 ranking for the first time.

"It's amazing," said Yin, who was ranked No.101 this time last year, after joining Shanshan Feng as the second Chinese golfer to reach the top position.

"I got goosebumps."