Date: May 22, 2011

Champs Higginbottom and Lee bound for Opens

National Junior Squad stars Jake Higginbottom of New South Wales and Minjee Lee of Western Australia have earnt exemptions into the respective Australian Opens having claimed victory at the 2011 Handa Junior Masters in Perth As the fourth round of the prestigious Handa Junior Masters got underway at The Vines Resort and Country Club, Perth s drought was broken as the skies unleashed themselves on the field. Higginbottom was undeterred by the squalling conditions as he teed off with overnight tied leaders Oliver Goss (WA) and Cameron Smith (QLD). Higginbottom showed his winning form getting on an early run with birdies on the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 9th turning 4 under par for the day. His only blemish came at the par five 10th but the strong New South Welshman recovered well picking up further birdies on the 17th and 18th holes to win the tournament by 3 shots over Australian Boys Amateur Champion Cameron Smith of QLD. Higginbottom felt a sense of return at the tournament after leading the field after the first round in 2009 but disappointingly having to withdraw due to injury. Higginbottom s win will see him play against some of the world s best talent at the 2011 Australian Open. In the girl s field, tournament leader from start to finish Min Jee Lee of Western Australia, cemented her growing profile in the golfing world winning the tournament by an astounding 13 shots. Lee jumped out of the gates early with a birdie on the 1st before the difficult wind conditions got the better of her and resulted in a bogey at the par five 6th. She recovered well with further birdies on 7 and 9, turning 2 under par for the day. A string of bogey s on the back 9 rattled Lee but with fellow competitors having extreme difficulty in the wet conditions, she was charging home for the victory with no competition on sight. An impressive birdie on Lee s final hole sealed the deal for the 16 year old who wins the opportunity to play against the best females in the world at the Handa Women’s Australian Open and ANZ Ladies Masters in early 2012.