Date: May 17, 2011

Lee and Higginbottom set pace in Perth

Western Australian Minjee Lee has set a strong opening pace at the 2011 Handa Junior Masters shooting an opening round of 7 under 65 in tedious conditions at The Vines Resort and Country Club. Lee, a member of the National Junior Squad, got off to a quick start with birdies on her first two holes on the back nine, following it up quickly with further birdies on 14 and 16, turning at 4 under the card. She continued her steady pace on the front 9 with birdies on 3, 5 and 6 to finish her blemish free round at an impressive 7 under par. Lee is not without competition though as Anna Lim from Korea also jumped out of the gates with a strong opening round of 6 under par 66. Lim had a mixed start on the back 9 with a birdie on the 12th followed quickly by a bogey on 13. She recovered nicely with another birdie on 14 to steady her round. Turning at 2 under par, Lim recorded a bogey free front nine picking up a further four birdies on holes 1, 3, 5 and 6 to finish at 6 under for the day. In the boys field, New South Welshman Jake Higginbottom reclaimed his love for the Lakes course, also shooting a hot round of 6 under 66 to lead the boys field by 2 shots. Higginbottom recorded an opening round of 66 at the 2009 Handa Junior Masters before having to withdraw due to injury. After getting off to a rocky start with a bogey on 10, Higginbottom settled back into the course recording birdies on 11, 16 and 17 before an impressive eagle on the par five 18th to turn 4 under the card. A strong front 9 saw Higginbottom pick up three additional birdies to sign for 6 under 66 at the close of the day. Higginbottom has tough competition from 2011 Australian Boys Amateur&apos Champion Cameron Smith of QLD who shot an opening round of 4 under 68. Smith turned at 1 under before finding momentum on the front 9 to finish his round 2 off the pace. With 5 other competitors carding 3 under par 69, the competition in the boys field is sure to heat up over the next three days.