Seventeen-year old amateur Minjee Lee has taken the lead at the ALPG Oats Victorian Open. The Aussie teen phenom is positioned to claim her first pro-event victory in the final round of the Victorian Open on Sunday and join American Lexi Thompson, Englishwoman Charley Hull, and New Zealander Lydia Ko, the parade of youngsters leading women’s golf into a bright future.
Lee started her third round trailing leader Sarah Jane Smith by three strokes, then fired an impressive six-under-par 68 on another overcast and breezy day on the Beach Course at 13th Beach Golf Links to overtake Smith and go to the clubhouse on the top of the board at 10-under-par. Smith, who shot even par in the third round, went to the clubhouse at a steady seven-under-par for the tournament.
Lee and Smith had swapped placed, with Lee now going into the final round on Sunday with and with a three shot advantage over Smith.
The 17-year-old has been in contention in the last couple of weeks at the Volvik RACV Ladies Masters and ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, however she hasn’t been able to close the deal and pull off her first professional victory.
Fellow amateur and Australian, Su Oh, is outright third at five-under-par. The young Victorian got herself into contention by firing a superb seven-under-par 67.
The reigning Australian amateur champion, Lee, got off to a rocky start with a bogey on the 2nd, however, she then strung together three consecutive birdies from 4th hole, a par on the 7th was promptly followed by another birdie and then an eagle on the short par 5 9th. She went out in five-under-par 32. All pars and a lone birdie on the par 14th saw her come back in one-under-par, 36.
About her round today, she had said “I just hit one close and then got on a roll.”
Modest and unassuming, Lee is happy with her position and the experience that she has gained over the past couple of weeks is certainly helping. “The more I put myself into that position the better I am feeling.”