Date: April 12, 2017
Author: Martin Blake

Lee to defend Hawaii title

Australia's top-ranked female player Minjee Lee returns to the scene of one of her three LPGA Tour triumphs when the tour moves to Hawaii this week.

Lee, 20, is defending the Lotte Championship that she won last year in Hawaii.

Without a victory so far in the 2017 season, the Western Australian will be hellbent on changing that.

She feels comfortable in Ko Olina on the island of Oahu, having shot a brilliant 64 in the final round to win last year.

"I love the fact that I am staying right across the road and I can go down to the beach whenever I want, just after I play and all that. I think it's just really peaceful and a little bit different to be at,'' she told media today.

Asked to recall her memories of last year's win, Lee said she had managed to play without over-thinking. " I was just playing my game. I think I had like four-under the front nine, and then the back nine, from 13, I think I had a really good finish.  I wasn't really thinking about it. I was just trying to make as many birdies as I could. Yeah, ended up with an eight-under, so it was nice.''

The field this week includes the in-form Michelle Wie, playing on the course she grew up playing, Inbee Park, In Gee Chun and Brooke Henderson.

Meanwhile eight Australians will tee it up at Hilton Head in South Carolina at the PGA Tour's RBC Heritage event.

They are Geoff Ogilvy, Aaron Baddeley, Steven Bowditch, John Senden, Greg Chalmers, Rod Pampling, Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith.

The majority of the top-ranked players are resting this week after the Masters.