Lee tops Aussie trio for second Vic Open title

Four years ago, Minjee Lee announced herself as a 17-year-old amateur in winning the Oates Vic Open. In 2018, she came in as a world-ranked player, the clear favourite, and performed precisely like that.

Lee began the final round with a one-shot lead and had stretched it to a five-shot win by the time she rolled in a birdie putt from just beyond a metre at the par-five 18th hole for a six-under par 67.

Minjee Lee Mine Lee (Credit: Tristan Jones/LET)

The 21-year-old from Perth gave her opposition no chance with a round that included five birdies, an eagle and just the one blemish, at the par-four eighth hole where she misjudged her approach and could not get up and down from behind the green.

Lee shot 13-under overall to win by five from 19-year-old Queensland’s Karis Davidson, playing her first professional tournament, at eight-under. Perth’s Hannah Green, who is playing her debut season on the LPGA Tour, and England’s Georgia Hall tied third at seven-under.

But Lee was unstoppable, never once bothered by the fact she had a target on her back as the world No. 20, highest-ranked in the field, and a past winner.

“I haven’t been in this situation too many times,” she said following her win. “I just went out and played my own game.”

“I was a little bit nervous out there probably coming down the stretch, but I knew I had somewhat of a lead so I could just play. But most of the pressure I put on myself, so it was nice to come out with the win.’’

Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall closed with a seven-under par 66 as did Prima of Thammaraks Thailand in conditions that were much easier than previous afternoons.

As for Lee, she is in the midst of a five-tournament stretch that goes through Canberra next week, to Adelaide for the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, and then on to Asia. She believes the victory today will spur her.

“I decided to play Vic Open and Canberra next week prior to the Aussie Open because I wanted to feel readier than any other year,” she said. “I think it’s a great confidence-booster to have had a win here so hopefully I can carry it on to the next two weeks, and my season.”

Source – Golf Victoria