Lee Jeong-eun won the LPGA Tour's inaugural Q-Series on Sunday. She finished with an 18-under 558 at the two-week-long, eight-round event in North Carolina.
Lee was in second place through the seventh round, but took the lead in the eighth and final round and held on to win with a 2-under 70.
U.S. amateur Jennifer Kupcho was the runner-up just one stroke behind Lee.
"Competing for two weeks was tougher than I expected. I thought it would never end," she said. Asked about whether she plans to compete in the U.S., she added, "I will decide later after discussing it with my family in Korea." Lee has great potential to succeed in the U.S., but has often stated that she prefers to play in Korea to be near her father, who is disabled.
Replacing the former Q-School, this year's 144-hole Q-Series brought some 100 players to compete, including those who lost a full-time LPGA seed, mid-to-top-ranked players in the second-tier Symetra Tour, and top-ranked players from outside the U.S.
Lee was invited based on her world No. 19 ranking. Sunday's result earned her a full seed on the LPGA Tour for next year and prize money of US$15,000.
Lee Jeong-eun poses for a picture after her victory at the LPGA Tour's inaugural Q-Series in North Carolina on Sunday. /Courtesy of Crowning