Date: November 13, 2015
Author: Martin Blake

Badds, Lee hit form in Mexico

Aaron Baddeley and Minjee Lee are flying the flag for Australian in Mexico, both in contention after the first round of tournaments on the PGA Tour and the LPGA.

Baddeley, who has only conditional status on the PGA Tour after a disappointing 2014-15 season, earned a start in the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in Mexico by finishing top-10 last weekend.

The Melburnian capitalised with an opening 65 at the par-71 El Camaleon Golf Club to tie the lead in the $US6.2 million event.

He shares the lead with Americans Justin Leonard, Shawn Stefani and Derek Fathauer.

Nineteen-year-old Lee is having a stellar rookie season on the LPGA Tour and she has continued right to the end, carding an opening 69 to be tied-second in the limited-field Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Mexico City.

A member of Golf Australia's elite rookie squad for young professionals, the Perth teenager made four birdies and one bogey in a stress-free round, burning the hole for a birdie from five metres at the 18th that would have given her the outright lead.

Lee had a share of the lead until world No. 2 Inbee Park, playing in the last group, rolled in a birdie putt at the final hole for a 68. Park is chasing Lydia Ko, who is not playing in Mexico City this week, in both the world rankings and the Race to CME Globe standings.

Lee is in the field for the season-ending Tour Championship in Florida next week, currently 12th on the points list in the Race to CME Globe.

She is already ranked inside the top 15 in the world, having won rave reviews for her amateur career as a two-time Australian amateur champion and a United States girls championship. She won the Kingsmill Championship in May, her first win on the major tour.

 After her round, she said she had learned a lot in her first season on the LPGA Tour, in particular to play fewer tournaments. She has played 27 this year with one to come in Florida. "Probably (I have learned) to pace myself and not play as many tournaments,'' she said. ''I mean, it's been a really long year. I'll take that into next year and just knowing when to practise and when to take a rest. That's a big thing for the whole year.''