Date: February 16, 2015
Author: Mark Hayes

When golf and cricket don’t collide

You could barely have found more different swing tempos.

As one wag in the press room said after watching Aussie cricketer Glenn Maxwell and rookie pro Minjee Lee begin their backswings together: “He was back in the car before she got to impact.”

Maxwell generously gave Lee an Australian cricket shirt in her size after the pair came together for a long-drive contest to promote the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open.

While it’s safe to say that Maxwell is a bigger golf fan than Lee of cricket, it’s equally correct to say they were both impressed by each other’s swing.

Maxwell, a single-figure handicapper and golf enthusiast, rarely uses his driver in favour of the more accurate and trusty 3-wood.

But when he found the magic, he certainly clubbed it not unlike a bullet straight drive for six at the MCG.

“Actually it was not too bad for a cricketer,” Lee joked before reflecting on the result of the contest.

“I don’t know, his good one was really long. Maybe on the accuracy bit (I had him covered), but maybe not on the length.”

And when he was asked to switch-hit like one of his trademark sweep shots for the cameras, Maxwell managed to impress the West Australian.

“Actually yes, I don’t think I could do much better than that.”

Which pretty much summed up Maxwell’s attitude to the 18-year-old’s fluent work of golfing art.

“It’s a beautiful swing – nice and smooth. If she can swing like that all week, I don’t think she’ll have any problems beating the field,” he said.

Lee, in her first national championship as a professional, said her game hadn’t changed much from her amateur days.

“It’s not much different, but better because you can earn money and get a salary,” she joked.

“But no, nothing is different, I still play the same golf.”