Minjee Lee enters her national championship as the highest ranked Australian golfer in the world at No. 17 and will be looking to add a second professional title to her resume at this week’s ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open.
The last time the Australian Open was played in the area, at Royal Adelaide in 1994, Lee was just two years old, but she has the advantage of having won her second Australian Women’s Amateur title at The Grange in Adelaide in 2014.
“I’ve been here before but I haven’t had lots of rounds of tournament play on the west course,” Lee said. “I played most on the east course for the Australian Amateur.”
She learned to avoid short siding herself. “I mean, if the pin’s tucked somewhere and you miss it on the wrong side then it’s going to be really hard to get up and down so you’ve got to know where to miss it.
“The fairways are pretty wide but there’s like portions where you want to hit it for like certain pins.”
Being the top ranked Australian means that Lee will have a strong chance to be representing her country this summer in Rio at the Olympic Games and she said: “I think it’s going to be amazing. I mean, the Olympics you get to represent your country, it’s like the highest honour that you can have, so yeah, definitely I think it’s going to be great.”
While the Olympic Games may be a goal on the horizon, Lee is focused on this week at The Grange.
“It’s the tournament that I always wanted to win, the Aussie Open,” Lee admitted. “It’s like it’s your national championship so yeah I mean I haven’t really thought about it going into this week. I always want to go in with no expectations, but obviously you have your own expectations.”
Lee hails from Perth but this week in Adelaide will feel like a home game as several members of her family will be making the trip.
“Yeah, my brother and my Dad ﬂew in today and my Nan and my Mum were already here with me,” Lee explained. “It will be nice. It’s going to feel more like home than anything.”