She played in a group with the world’s No. 1 and No. 2 players but Australia’s Minjee Lee was less than overawed at Sentosa in Singapore yesterday as she again pushed into contention in an LPGA Tour event.
Perth’s Lee, who this week leapt to No. 3 in the world, shares the lead with world No. 1 Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand and a bunch of others after carding an opening 68 in the HSBC Women’s World Championship.
The Royal Fremantle graduate started quietly and even after a chip-in eagle from the fringe at the par-five eighth, she was only one-under par through 12 holes and in the pack. But three birdies on the closing stretch, after hitting it close on the 13th and the 15th and then making a bomb from long range at the par-three 17th put her to the top of the leaderboard.
She shares top billing with Jutanugarn, who birdied the last for a 68, American Amy Olson, France’s Celine Boutier and China’s Yu Liu.
“The course is actually playing pretty tough,’’ said the Australian after her round. “I mean, it's a bit more bouncier and it's, I guess, I have a couple longer clubs into some of the holes. It is playing a little longer for me. So just keep hitting fairways and try and get a little bit more length off the tee and have a good short game. That's pretty much what I'm going to work on.’’