Date: January 25, 2017
Author: Dave Tease

Lee soars to great heights at Avondale

Korea’s Ga Young Lee has shattered the Avondale course-record for the second time in as many days.

In a next-level performance, The 17-year old carded an incredible 12 birdies and a solitary bogey for an 11-under par 61, leaving her siting a commanding 13 shots in front of her nearest competitor, teammate Haeran Ryu.

Her effort around the Avondale layout is an accomplishment that matches, if not betters anything ever seen from a female golfer, amateur or professional, in Australia for a long, long time.

In context, she has bettered by 14 shots the Men's leader, Josh Armstrong on a layout that, although not quite as long, is the same course under the same conditions. She's a massive 49 shots in front of the final competitor in the women's field, and her total of 21 birdies for the 36 holes played is by far the most by either male or female.

The quiet young lady simply shrugged her shoulders when asked what she thought was the key to her exceptional play today.

"The course suits my eye, I like the lines off the tee and I am putting very well," she smiled.

When asked for a highlight of the round, she singled out her birdie on the 18th hole.

"I've never shot 11-under before. I really wanted that putt to go in."

When quizzed further about her liking of Australian conditions after recording three course records in ten days, she replied; "It's the hamburgers here, I like them very much,"

The Korean officials were also left in shock by her performance.

"Truly incredible. This will make the news back home." they said.

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Concord’s Belinda Ji is the best of the locals, sitting in a tie for third place at five-under-par after a solid round of two under par 70 to go with her first round 69. The Avondale Amateur is Ji’s first tournament for the year, after a family holiday to China over Christmas to visit her grandparents.

The 14-year-old was happy with her form over the first two days.

“I’m happy to be back playing,” Ji smiled. 

“I played pretty well, I got off to a good start a birdie on the first, and had three birdies in a row, 15th, 16th, 17th to finish, that helped,” she said.

The high school student has high hopes for her golf in 2017, after winning the 2016 NSW Girls title and being part of the successful NSW Girls team that won the Junior interstate series.

“I’m hopeful I’ll make the girls and women’s state teams this year.”

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Josh Armstrong has grabbed a two-shot lead after 36 holes of the men’s division of the Avondale Amateur.

Despite starting his round with a bogey, the 17-year old kept his cool to post two-under par round of 69 in mild morning conditions on the Northern Sydney Layout.

Armstrong, from the Lakes Golf Club, managed five birdies today. His only blemishes, the bogey on the first and a double bogey on the 10thhole.

“I played pretty solid, I wouldn’t say I hit it fantastic, but I did things when I needed to and holes a couple of putts,” Armstrong said.

It was, however, the double bogey on the 10th that almost brought the good work the junior from Canberra had done apart.

“ I just had to be patient (after the double). There’s a lot of chances out here. I knew I didn’t have to force them to happen,” he smiled.

The laid back teenager isn’t phased with his name on top of the leaderboard either.

“I’m happy to have the lead, but I’m not too focussed on it at the moment,

“I’ve still got two rounds of golf to play, I’m looking forward to that,” he smiled.

Overnight leader Shae Wools-Cobb had a quiet start to his second round, carding nine straight pars on his outward nine before a birdie on the tenth hole helped him start his day. It was short lived however, with the Queenslander making a couple of disappointing bogeys on the 15th and 17th holes. He eventually signed for a one-over par 72. 

Also at four-under par is England's Bradley Moore, Queensland’s Charlie Dann, and the Australian Golf Club’s Kevin Yuan.

Dann, one of the early players out today, was pretty pleased with his effort, a four-under par 67 on a course he finds suits his game.

“I’m happy. I played pretty solid. I made four (birdies) in a row at one point, so yeah, pretty happy,"

“You’ve got to be straight off the tee around here, just keep the ball in the fairway and get the ball on the green, that’s my plan for the next two days.” he grinned.

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