Date: July 19, 2016
Author: Tom Fee

Lee’s call to Goss pays off at U.S. Junior

A last minute phone call to fellow Royal Fremantle member Oliver Goss has helped WA's Min Woo Lee lead the way for Australia at the U.S. Junior.

Only bad light could stop Lee, 17, in his opening round in the Boys' Amateur, sitting 3-under and tied for fifth when bad light stopped play at 8:51pm at the Honors Course in Ooltewah, Tennessee.

Fellow West Aussie Fred Lee, 16, also sits in the top ten with a round of 70 around the 7,242 yard par-72 layout.

American Travis Vick leads after a course record 64, while both Lees sit comfortably in the top 64 that will qualify for the matchplay after 36 holes with the cuttoff currently at 3-over par.

Over in New Jersey, Victoria's Gabriela Ruffels is flying the flag as the lone Australian in the U.S. Girls' Junior at Ridgewood Country Club, and is well in contention to qualify for the match play with a 1-over round of 74.

In a tie for 23rd, Ruffels sits seven shots back of leader Eun Jeong Seong with a three shot buffer between her and the top 64 cutoff to make the matchplay.

Chatting after the conclusion of play, Lee was happy to start well after earning a top 10 finish the week earlier at the IMG World Junior.

"Yeah to be in the top 10 is great, I played pretty solid today," said Lee.

"I made one 3 putt which was frustrating but brought it straight back with a birdie on the next hole."

"Its not the best to not be able to finish my round but its life, it happens, its a privilege to play on a golf course like this so im happy no matter what."

The Honour Course is the home course of the University of Tennessee, and Lee put in a call to Web.Com Tour player Oliver Goss for some insight into the layout.

"The course is tough if you miss the fairways its going to be a long day," said Lee.

"I'd have to thank Oliver Goss for a few tips as it his college home course as I contacted him an hour before I played!"

"The greens are very slippery, if you have a downhill putt they are running around 14 so its crazy, greens are running at around 12 i think. There are tough holes where par is a good score and you make shots on the field so its great."

Lee saved his best to last, draining a bomb on the 7th green to birdie his 16th hole of the day.

"I feel my putting was great today, and I holed a 25 footer down the hill on my last hole," said Lee.

"And I holed the putt after they asked if I wanted to keep playing and finish out the hole or stop and come back tomorrow, so I'm glad I decided to take the putt as its a great way to end a long day."

When asked if Lee shared his course insight with WA teammate Fred Lee, he joked that he didn't need it.

"I didn't as he was already out on course when I made the call," said Lee.

"I think he has this course figured out though!"